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Lotus Weblicator gets tested

Lotus next week will begin beta testing the Web browser add-on that brings popular Notes features to Web navigating.

    NEW YORK--IBM (IBM) subsidiary Lotus Development will begin beta testing its Web browser add-on called the Weblicator next week, the company announced at Fall Internet World 96.

    The software, which is built to run with standard Web browsers and adds some of the more popular features of Lotus Notes, can be downloaded from the company's Web site starting December 18.

    The Weblicator is scheduled to go to market in the first quarter for $29. Lotus hopes the low price tag will help the company expand its customer base beyond the Fortune 500 companies that have been buying its Notes groupware for years.

    "We want to introduce this technology to the great unwashed masses of the Internet," explained Product Manager Steve Cappo. Beyond the potentially enormous consumer market for the tool, Cappo said Lotus is also talking to Internet service providers that might add the Weblicator and companies that would bundle the tool in media packages sent out over the Net.

    The Weblicator brings popular data storage, security, and replication. And, it lets browser users store online information, work with it offline, and then relaunch it onto the Web or share it with co-workers.

    In other news today, Lotus set prices for two add-ons to its Domino Web server which are will be released in the first quarter.

    Domino.Merchant e-commerce software will be sold in a bundle with the Domino 4.5 Server for $1,995. It will also be sold as a separate upgrade for companies already deploying Domino Servers for a price of $1,295. Lotus also announced that the Merchant product will support CyberCash e-transaction software and has signed up the company as a technology alliance partner.

    Domino.Broadcast for PointCast will cost $1,295 and be sold as an upgrade to the Domino Server. The tool uses PointCast technology for "push" publishing of corporate and other news to users on a corporate intranet. Lotus said it has entered into a strategic relationship with another Internet publishing company called BackWeb to develop additional "push" broadcast features to the Domino add-on.