Just when Microsoft is gearing up to become the end-all be-all for small and growing businesses, IBM has launched an alternative to Microsoft's ubiquitous Office. As reported by Antone Gonsalves of SmallBizPipeline, IBM's server-based bundle of desktop applications includes e-mail, IM, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. The products, part of IBM's Lotus Workplace strategy, run on Linux, Unix or proprietary operating systems used in handheld computers and cellular phones.

Will it ruffle Microsoft's feathers? According to Toni Duboise, analyst for market researcher Current Analysis, its a niche play for IBM that likely will have an impact on companies using Linux and mobile users, but corporate users won't be abandoning Office just yet.

To read the full story, go to IBM Launches Alternative To Microsoft Office.