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Lotus announces Notes, Domino for Linux

Collaboration software due later this year as commercial release

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Lotus is to support Linux and release versions of its Domino and Notes software for the free Unix-based OS later this year. However, it's unlikely the company will also embrace the open source movement of which Linux is the flagship. Speaking at Lotusphere 99, the US Lotus users' conference, CEO Jeff Papows said he expects the Linux version of the server software would be made available this year. "But this doesn't mean we're going to provide open source or any freeware," he added. While the point was made to win a laugh, it's unlikely he would have said it at all if the company had not rejected the traditional Linux software model. Commercially licensed Linux applications are not non-existent but they aren't commonplace. Applix, which announced a version of its ApplixWare productivity software suite for Linux PPC at MacWorld Expo at the start of the year, charges for its software. Even Corel offers WordPerfect for Linux free of charge to those willing to download it, though it charges for the retail release. During his speech, Papows also promised versions of the collaboration technologies for other platforms would ship next month. That represents a delay of "two to three weeks", according to Papows -- hardly excessive by the software industry's standards. Papows effectively said the delay was due to the company's efforts to ramp up production -- to make sure "we have the product". He also said the Lotus had agreed to work with AOL to tie Notes 5 and Lotus Sametime, its real-time collaboration software, in with AOL's Web search systems and Instant Messenger facility. ®

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