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Microsoft gains ground in groupware

For the second quarter in a row, Lotus Development loses ground to Microsoft in the groupware market, according to a new study.

For the second quarter in a row, Lotus Development lost ground to Microsoft in the groupware market, according to a new study.

In its latest survey, research firm International Data Corporation said in the first half of this year, Microsoft Exchange sold 8.1 million seats worldwide in the first half of 1999, compared to 7.4 million Lotus seats, and 2.69 million seats for Novell GroupWise.

The results represent the second consecutive gain for Microsoft, which continues to chip away at Lotus's lead. As previously reported, Microsoft edged out the IBM subsidiary and Novell as the leading first-quarter vendor of groupware, or software that lets users work together over PC networks.

Repeated delays in the release of Notes/Domino R5 may have "had some minimal impact on the first quarter sales and less on the second quarter," said IDC vice president Ian Campbell.

"This isn't inconsistent with what we saw last year," said Paul Davis, a Lotus spokesperson. "We tend to have a better second half of the year. This shows that both of us continue to be on par for growing our installed base."

Microsoft could not be reached for comment.

Although lagging in the U.S. market, Campbell said Lotus is doing well in Europe with 2.2 million seats sold compared to Microsoft's 1.9 million seats sold, and Asia Pacific, where it beat out Microsoft's 577,000 seats sold with its 1.3 million seat sales.

Quarterly sales aside, Lotus still commands a lead in overall installed base.

However, over the past year-and-a-half the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based software company has seen its market lead narrow under the growing pressure by Microsoft.