NEW YORK--Hoping to keep Lotus Notes
competitive with new groupware software that run over intranets, IBM
is pitching in to help by
bundling the software with its own products.
IBM acquired Lotus for $3.5 billion last year, principally to get its hands
on the company's groupware franchise. But since then, Notes has come under increasing pressure from new groupware offerings designed to take
advantage of intranets while Notes remains confined to proprietary networks
that are harder to set up and more expensive to maintain.
To give Notes an edge in this intensifying battle, IBM said today at
PC Expo here that it is going as far as to give away free
copies of its Notes 4.1 server with all new purchases of IBM PC Servers. The
company will also include Lotus Notes Mail in the next version of OS/Warp,
code-named Merlin, which will allow OS/2 users to exchange email using
Merlin's built-in speech recognition software.
In addition, IBM announced Web and Lotus Notes Connections for VisualAge for
SmallTalk, the company's object-oriented development tool. The connections
will help developers build intranet applications, including Java applets,
based on Lotus Notes.
For its part, Lotus Development announced the Lotus Components Starter Pack, a suite of six software applets that users can plug into Notes to bring some level of basic application functionality to Notest databases. The components include Chart, Comment, Draw/Diagram, File Viewer, Project Scheduler, and Spreadsheet.
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