The announcement comes as market researcher International Data Corporation prepares to release figures that indicate that GroupWise has fallen to the third spot in terms of total users, overtaken in the first half of 1998 by Microsoft Exchange. Lotus Domino/Notes retains the top spot.
"Being No. 3 in a market with millions of new users every year is a good place to be," IDC research director Mark Levitt said. In terms of products sold in the first half of 1998, GroupWise remains third, with Microsoft vying with Lotus for the lead.
IDC earlier reported that the collaborative market doubled in 1997 to $1.3 billion, adding 50 million new users. IDC projects the market to reach $2.4 billion by 2002.
Groupware software allows users to collaborate, send messages, share documents online, and schedule meetings online.
GroupWise 5.5 integrates Web publishing into the software, giving users the ability to post a document on a Web site or intranet with a single click.
"If you compare that to what the others require, this is a huge step forward in ease of use," Levitt said. "You don't need to have an official Web publisher at the company, as long as people are trusted and you have quality controls, they can do their own publishing."
Version 5.5 upgrades document management and support for Internet standards. It also enables collaboration using telephones, PDAs, palmtops, pagers, and other email and collaboration systems.
GroupWise's client software supports Windows 95, 98, and NT, Windows 16 and Macintosh. On the server, version 5.5 supports NetWare versions 3.0 and later and Windows NT. Unix support will be added on both client and server at a later date.
The client software is now available in English, with additional languages due to ship in mid-November, including Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.
Novell continues to offer a 60 percent discount for users who switch from cc:Mail or Microsoft Mail. Switchers pay $1,392 for a 25-user license, reduced from the $3,480 list price.
Pricing and licensing terms are identical to GroupWise 5.2. A five-user license costs $718, with a 250-user license going for $32,625.