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IBM has also inked a deal with online professional networking company LinkedIn so Lotus users will be able to link to their LinkedIn networks from Lotus mail and other applications. Ditto for internet-phone provider Skype and online customer-relationship-management vendor Salesforce.com, which also have integration deals with IBM for the LotusLive product.

These three deals, IBM crowed, will deliver "integrated collaborative solutions to an audience of more than 400 million people". It is more likely the much smaller number of LotusLive users will have some features that make the services more appealing than they would be as a standalone offering. The tail is not wagging the dog here, even if the integration is useful. There is nothing compelling those 400 million souls to use LotusLive, after all.

There was mobile news, too. IBM said it has created some development tools that link the Lotus and Domino software stack to Research In Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry smartphones. The tools allow for Lotus Symphony documents - stored in the Open Document Format - to be opened on a BlackBerry smartphone. IBM said it is working on the ability to let the smartphones do this for its Symphony spreadsheets and presentations.

Smartphones will be able to run IBM's Quickr team software for the sharing of documents, photos, and videos, and with the new IBM tools they will also be able to access Lotus Connections to participate in blogs and online communities.

IBM also previewed future support for BlackBerry smartphones for the Lotus Domino Designer application development tool and the XPages it creates. This support will be enabled by snapping the BlackBerry Java Development Environment into Domino Designer.

None of these tools are available now - they are in preview. RIM and IBM said that Symphony document viewing and Lotus Connections support is coming in the second quarter, while the Quickr and Designer support for BlackBerries are due sometime in the second half of this year. ®

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