InformationWeek > Thin-Client Computing > Yet Another Thin-Client Scheme Is Launched > July 26, 2004 "IBM's original Workplace software, launched last year, offered messaging and collaboration features. Workplace 2 is a new beast because it is managed by remote servers. Now in pilot testing by 120 IBM customers, Workplace 2 is to be officially released by the end of July.
IBM expects it to especially appeal to companies with lots of mobile workers, or employees who use computers only for specific tasks--people like bank tellers, call-center operators and factory-floor managers.
The program gives users a dashboard-like view of several applications, notably E-mail, instant messaging and a calendar, along with documents created by the users or their colleagues. In an important step, IBM released software tools this month to let outside developers create programs that work with Workplace 2.
Workplace 2 runs on Windows or Linux computers, and its dashboard can incorporate the big three applications in Microsoft's Office software package--Word, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.
But if a user doesn't want to buy Microsoft Office software, Workplace draws on open-source alternatives that roughly simulate the big three. That means a Workplace user who doesn't have Word but gets E-mailed a Word document could open the file, change it and send it back to the source--who would then be able to work on it in Word just the same."