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Lotus Notes tuned for Linux

IBM is debuting a version of the desktop collaboration software that runs on the open-source operating system.

IBM plans to unveil on Monday a version of its Lotus Notes desktop collaboration software for Linux.

Lotus Notes on Linux 7.0.1, which will be generally available July 24, is based on the Eclipse open-source framework. That technology will also be used in the next update to Lotus Notes, code-named Hannover, which is expected to ship next year.

"Lotus Notes on Linux was going to come out at the same time as Hannover, but we decided to roll it out earlier. There is a lot of market demand now from our customers, especially in Germany, India, China and Brazil," said Ed Brill, head of IBM's worldwide Lotus Notes sales.

The new desktop software, tailored to the Linux open-source operating system, is designed to help corporations that choose not to use proprietary operating systems such as Microsoft Windows or Mac OS. And once the Hannover version is released, the software will be able to function as a soup-to-nuts productivity tool, IBM said.

Lotus Notes users who use a Windows or Macintosh system will be allowed to swap to a Linux version free of charge, Brill noted. New Lotus Notes licensees will pay the same rate as Windows or Macintosh customers, he added.