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Lotus shows Kona's for real

Lotus pledges allegiance to Java by demonstrating Kona--a set of lightweight productivity applets written in Sun's programming language.

IBM subsidiary Lotus Development pledged allegiance to Java today, demonstrating a set of lightweight productivity applets written in Sun Microsystems' programming language.

Code-named Kona, the applets are part of an effort by Lotus--one of the big-three application suite vendors along with Microsoft and Corel--to provide useful programs for users of network computers (NCs) in case the devices take off. Although Microsoft has not stated any plans to develop Java versions of its Office suite, Corel is currently testing a collection of applications called Office for Java.

Although the Kona applets will be able to work on any Java-capable Web browser, Lotus, led by parent company IBM, is clearly aiming to establish a presence in application development on NCs. At its Lotusphere developer conference in Orlando, Florida, today, Lotus demonstrated the Kona applets, including a text editor, spreadsheet, chart builder, calendar, personal information manager, email, presentation graphics, and project scheduler running on an NC created by IBM.