Want to try IBM Lotus Symphony?

If you want to download and try Lotus Symphony, IBM’s free office productivity suite, be prepared to be treated as a criminal suspect. IBM won’t let you have the installation kit until they’ve checked you out. You have to hand over your name, country and email address and then you get the message:

This product is subject to strict US export control laws. Prior to providing access, we must validate whether you are eligible to receive it under an available US export authorization. Your request is being reviewed. Upon completion of this review, you will be contacted if we are able to give access. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

It’s a word processor, not the designs for a nuclear bomb. No, they’re easier to obtain.

After waiting a day you then get an email entitled “IBM Lotus Symphony 1 failure

“Your business with IBM Lotus Symphony 1 is very important to us. We are sorry that your previous transaction with us did not go through. We have fixed this error in your account. Please return to the IBM Lotus Symphony 1 web site to resubmit your transaction. Thank you and sorry for the inconvenience.”

What failure? What error? What account? At least they include a URL in the email to get you back to the download page, where you have to give you name, email address and country again.

What a palaver.


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