IBM recently has spun out a free, standalone suite of productivity software included in the latest version of Lotus Notes. At about the same time, Google announced plans to add a presentation application to Google Docs, its hosted, software-as-a-service (SaaS) suite of collaboration and communications tools.
In addition to Symphony, IBM unveiled Lotus Notes as a hosted service meant for the small- to midsize business market. Microsoft, meanwhile, is responding to <A HREF="http://www.cio.com/article/148700/IBM_Google_Chase_Microsoft_With_Hosted_Services">the demand for Web-based apps</A> by expanding its Web-based offerings. In late September, Microsoft announced Office Live Workspace, now in beta testing and open to anyone who registers. This lets users save more than 1,000 Office documents to one place and access them through the Web. It also allows them to share them with others in a password-protected, invitation-only online workspace.