In 2009, IBM created development tools for BlackBerry smartphones to link to IBM's business software, which also allow opening ODF file-formats, following a full Symphony later.
Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 added enhancements including support for one million spreadsheet rows, bubble charts, and a new design for the home page. On 27 March 2012 a first fixpack update for Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 was released. On 29 November 2012 a second fixpack update for Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 was released.
A web based version of Symphony, called LotusLive Symphony, was launched in 2011.
Symphony has its roots in the IBM Workplace Managed Client component of IBM Workplace. In 2006, IBM introduced Workplace Managed Client version 2.6, which included "productivity tools" — a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation program — that supported ODF. Workplace used code from OpenOffice.org version 1.1.4, the last version released under the Sun Industry Standards Source License, which allowed for release of binaries of modified versions without releasing changes.
Later in 2006, IBM announced that Lotus Notes 8, which already incorporated Workplace technology, would also include the same productivity tools as the Workplace Managed Client. In 2007, IBM released Notes 8, and then released Notes' productivity tools as a standalone application, Symphony, in a beta one month later. The code in Symphony is the same as that for Notes 8's productivity tools. IBM released version 1.0 of Lotus Symphony in May 2008 as a free download, and introduced three minor upgrades through 2008 and 2009.
In 2010, IBM released version 3.0. Symphony 3.0 was based on OpenOffice.org 3.0, though not under the LGPL but under a special arrangement between IBM and Sun (who required copyright assignment of all outside OpenOffice.org contributions). and includes enhancements such as new sidebars in its user interface and support for Visual Basic for Applications macros, OpenDocument Format 1.2, and OLE. Symphony 3.0 was originally planned to include other existing OpenOffice.org modules, including an equation editor, database software, and a drawing program.
On 13 July 2011, IBM announced that it would donate Lotus Symphony to the Apache Foundation. On 23 January 2012, IBM announced version 3.0.1 would be the last version Lotus Symphony and their efforts would be going into the Apache OpenOffice project, including the Symphony user interface. IBM planned to release an "Apache OpenOffice IBM Edition" after the release of Apache OpenOffice 4, but later decided that it would offer the stock Apache OpenOffice with IBM extensions.
Lotus Symphony Documents 1.0 on Windows XP
There were complaints that IBM and the Apache Software Foundation didn't really provide an open-source release of the Lotus Symphony code, although IBM promised to donate the code to Apache. It was reported that some LibreOffice developers wanted to overtake some code parts and bug fixes which IBM already fixed in their OpenOffice fork.
During the Lotusphere event in 2009, IBM confirmed its cost-reduction effort using Lotus Symphony, with the company migrating its 400,000 users from Microsoft Office to Lotus Symphony. In June 2008 IBM urged its 20 000 'strong-techies' employees to use Symphony instead of Microsoft Office and later in September 2009 IBM forced all 360 000 employees to use Symphony.
In March 2009, a study showed that Lotus Symphony had a 2% market share in the corporate market.
As of February 2010[update], IBM stated that Lotus Symphony had 12 million users with 50 million downloads in January 2011.