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Lotus delays Kona debut

The company says its Java applets are shipping late to allow for more user interface testing.

    IBM subsidiary Lotus Development has delayed the debut of its first Java applet release, code-named Kona, by two months, according to the company.

    A Lotus representative said that Kona will be delayed due to the need for additional user interface testing.

    "A lot of the users of this product aren't going to be to familiar with computers. We want to make sure the interface is intuitive, and to make it as ideal as it can be," company spokesman Adam Banker said today. The Kona delay will not affect any other product releases, he added.

    Kona will now debut by the end of November or the first part of December, Banker said.

    Kona is a set of JavaBeans-based applets intended to help IT managers reduce the cost of developing and deploying business applications and use intranets and the Internet to connect employees, customers, and suppliers to conduct business, the company said. The first Kona suite was expected to be released by the end of September.

    Kona also attempts to give corporate network users a slimmed-down, server-based set of applications that provide only the functions absolutely necessary to a user's task.

    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 network computers (NCs). Kona applets--including a text editor, spreadsheet, chart builder, calendar, personal information manager, email, presentation graphics, and project scheduler--will also run on an NC created by IBM.

    In April, Lotus Development and Oracle subsidiary NCI joined forces to embed Java into NCI's network computer.

    The Lotus Kona announcement follows another Java-related delay by Corel. The company is developing a Java version of its Office suite that includes a client-side word processor, spreadsheet, charting tool, calendar, address book, and email, and a desktop for file management and overview.