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Lotus delays Notes, Domino releases

The company postpones the rollout of its new Notes and Domino versions, but Lotus officials say the move isn't connected to Microsoft's Windows 98 delay.

    Lotus is delaying its rollout of Notes 5.0 and Domino 5.0 until the first half of 1998, company officials said.

    Although company sources attributed the delay partly to Lotus's wish for the release to "sync up" with the Microsoft's now-postponed release of Windows 98 and Internet Explorer 4.0, company officials today backed away from connecting its delay with the Windows 98 delay.

    "Although Lotus takes the development of all platforms into consideration, it does not drive Lotus's development efforts. Instead, Lotus focuses on customer and market demands when engaging in its development efforts," a company spokesman said.

    The Notes 5.0 and Domino 5.0 releases were originally slated to ship near the year's end.

    The IBM subsidiary in July said it will bundle IE 4.0, when it ships, as part of its SmartSuite desktop application package and Notes 4.6 client package. Lotus also said it is planning to deliver "extremely tight integration" between IE 4.0 and a later release of Notes.

    Lotus also plans to work with Windows NT 5.0. The next version has no official ship date, although company officials in the past had set a target of the second half of 1998. Domino 5.0 will also be integrated with Microsoft's CDF and Active Desktop functionality in Windows 98.

    But customer feedback was more a factor than anything else, said Scott Prather, senior product manager for Notes. "Customers asked why the release 4.6 and 5.0 were so close."

    Domino 5.0's and Notes 5.0's original ship dates--about the end of this year and January 1998--would have followed too closely to the previous versions of Notes and Domino, which are due next week, Lotus said.

    Prather said the reason for the close release dates was because the company was trying to achieve a six-month development cycle. "The customers said an 8- to 12-month cycle would work with them," Prather said.