Microsoft Office vs Lotus Symphony: Difference and Comparison

Microsoft Office is one of the world’s most well-known productivity suites that are still widely used today.

Several alternatives have been developed over the years, but one of the most useful ones is Lotus Symphony, developed by IBM. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Microsoft Office is a paid suite of productivity tools, while Lotus Symphony is a free, open-source alternative.
  2. Microsoft Office dominates the market, offering wide compatibility and user familiarity, whereas Lotus Symphony is less widely adopted.
  3. Microsoft Office provides a broader range of applications and features, while Lotus Symphony focuses on core productivity tools.

Microsoft Office vs Lotus Symphony 

Microsoft Office is developed by Microsoft which provides a variety of functionalities with numerous applications to fulfill the different needs of users. Lotus Symphony is designed by IBM and has three basic applications.  It’s free to use and provides Spreadsheets, word, and presentation programs.

Microsoft Office vs Lotus Symphony

Microsoft Office is a software tool suite used in an office setting. It is available for both Windows and Mac, and it comprises programs, solutions, services, and servers for a variety of business and personal needs.

It has a large variety of applications and programs available for your every need – professional and personal.

On the other hand, Lotus Symphony was developed by IBM.

It is an office suite comprising three main programs: a word processor, a spreadsheet program, and a presentation and slideshow program. It also has a web browser that is based on Firefox 3. 

Comparison Table 

Parameters of Comparison Microsoft Office Lotus Symphony 
Cost It costs you, but you may have cheaper options. It’s free. 
Developer Microsoft IBM 
Initial Release April 19, 2000 2007 
Application It has more applications. It includes only three applications. 
Operating Systems It works with Windows 10, Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile, Android, Chrome OS, iOS Linux, MAC OS X, Windows. 

What is Microsoft Office? 

Microsoft Office is a suite filled with several different client software, services, and server software. It is very useful in your day-to-day life and also helps you on a professional level. Bill Gates initially unveiled it on August 1, 1988.

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The initial edition of Office, which was originally a marketing name for an office suite, included a word processor called Microsoft Word, a spreadsheet program called Microsoft Excel, and a presentation program called Microsoft PowerPoint.  

Microsoft developed it and has been marketing it as a productivity suite and as a developmental platform.

Other programs have tried to mimic the applications of Office, but the capabilities of Microsoft Office far exceed that of its competitors. Over time, Office has only gotten better and added more programs to maximize its productivity.

MS Office has several versions. The desktop version is by far the most commonly used one. It is available for PCs with various operating systems.

Along with this, they provide mobile apps for iOS and android along with a web version that you can use on both your laptops and smartphones.

Microsoft Office has a lot of helpful core and essential applications at your disposal. These consist of MS Word, MS OneDrive, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, etc.

The office also includes several Windows-only apps. These can only be accessed through Windows, like MS Publisher, MS Access, etc. Some mobile-only applications included are Office Remote, Office Lens, and Office Mobile. 

Some web services that are included in the Microsoft Office programs are Microsoft Forms, Microsoft To-Do, Outlook, Microsoft Planner, Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Booking, Microsoft Sway, and Delve. 

microsoft office

What is Lotus Symphony? 

Lotus Symphony suite of software developed by IBM. It was meant for writing and editing presentations, spreadsheets, text through a word processor, other applications, and internet browsing.  

It was originally released in 2007. It was initially offered as proprietary commercial software. It was then marketed as freeware.

After a while, in 2014, IBM gave it to Apache Software Foundation. It was incorporated into the Apache OpenOffice Software Suite. 

Lotus Symphony consists of three main applications: a word processor, a spreadsheet program, and a presentation program. A version of Lotus Symphony based on the web was launched in 2011 called LotusLive Symphony. 

All the applications mentioned are distinguished into tabs. It supports the MS Office format for documents as well as the OpenDocument format.

PDFs (Portable Document Formats) and Office Open XML files can also be used in this. In Symphony 3, the support for the previous Lotus SmartSuite formats was removed. 

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Lotus Symphony is available on several operating systems as of now. These operating systems are Windows, Linus, and macOS.

lotus symphony

Main Differences Between Microsoft Office and Lotus Symphony 

  1. The difference between Microsoft Office and Lotus Symphony is that Microsoft Office was developed by Microsoft, whereas IBM developed Lotus Symphony. 
  2. Microsoft Office can be considered a little pricey, and they offer various payment plans monthly or annually. They have two main offers, one for family use and one for personal use. On the other hand, Lotus Symphony is free of cost. 
  3. IBM initially released Lotus Symphony in 2007, whereas Microsoft released Microsoft Office long back in 2000, making it a bit more experienced and polished. 
  4. Another difference between the two is that Microsoft Office has more applications, whereas Lotus Symphony only has the essentials. Lotus symphony consists of spreadsheets, a word processor, and presentation applications. Microsoft Office has all the essentials and also has various applications for project management, image viewing, note-taking, diagramming, desktop publishing etc. 
  5. Microsoft Office is compatible with various operating systems like Windows 10, Windows Phone, Windows 10 Mobile, Android, Chrome OS, and iOS. Lotus Symphony is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. 

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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15 thoughts on “Microsoft Office vs Lotus Symphony: Difference and Comparison”

  1. This article gave me so much insight about the differences between Microsoft Office and Lotus Symphony. This was a good read.

  2. Thank you for sharing such a detailed comparison between Microsoft Office and Lotus Symphony. It was a great read.

  3. I have been a Microsoft Office user for many years now. It has always worked well for me; I have never felt the need to switch to another alternative.

  4. Microsoft Office is better than Lotus Symphony. The range of applications and features provided by Microsoft Office are incomparable.


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