Lotus Notes/Domino R5 to ship at last

More than a year late, but at least by now it should be free of bugs

After more than a year of delays and setbacks, Lotus has said it will have Notes/Domino 5 ready to roll next week. The most recent in the long line of delays took place in January at Lotusphere ’99. The much-awaited release (R5) had been expected to take place at the gathering of the great and the good of the Lotus world, but it was not to be. Back then, Lotus chief executive, Jeff Papows said a delay of two or three weeks was needed for "quality assurance" purposes and that it would surface in February. Needless to say, R5 failed to put in an appearance in February either. According to a Lotus talking head, the company was searching for "a solution for addressing and rectifying all documented bugs." A concept that would almost certainly be lost on another well known software giant from the US, famed for releasing bug-laded product and then working on the necessary patches. According to reports on US news wire service Techweb, the Notes client has been separated from the Domino server, making it available as a stand-alone product. Domino Application Server will be priced at $1,795, the TechWeb story said. The Domino Mail Server is priced at $695, Domino Server at $4,995, Domino Designer at $495. R5 will run on most platforms, including Windows 95/98 and NT Workstation, and Macintosh PowerPC. Downloads are expected to be available from the Lotus site on either Tuesday or Wednesday, with CDs being pressed later in the week. There has been almost as much anticipation as there has delay over R5's release, although it is April Fools’ Day next Thursday, so perhaps the software industry would do well not to hold its breath this time either. ®

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