Lotus extends Web client to Linux platforms

IBM's Lotus Software on Wednesday extended its Linux support to the desktop with the introduction of a Web-based client for its Domino messaging and collaboration server.

The company introduced at this week's LinuxWorld trade show in New York a version of Lotus iNotes Web Access that supports Netscape 7.0 browsers designed to run on Linux desktops. Lotus also plans to support Windows versions of Netscape 7.0 to give Microsoft desktop users an option to use Internet Explorer.

The iNotes software for Linux runs as a server extension on Domino and supports browser based access to functions including mail, calendar, and contacts. The Domino server can be running on any platform including Windows. The iNotes software is designed for mobile users or those with shared desktops such as shop floor workers who don't need the full Notes client.

Lotus will release the iNotes Web Access software that supports Netscape 7.0 with version 6.5 of Domino slated to ship this summer.

In addition to the Linux client options, Lotus next week will release iNotes Web Access software that runs on Domino for Linux 6.0.1 and supports Windows clients, which will allow users to mix Linux servers with Windows desktops. Lotus first introduced Domino on Linux in late 1999.

"For the fist time in iNotes we have messaging clients that meet the needs of the entire enterprise market," says Jason Dumont, senior product manager for client strategy and iNotes Web Access.

The Linux support is part of a larger push within IBM to support the open source operating system as part of its "On Demand" strategy that will allow users to access data and applications from any platform.

IBM now has nearly 70 products across its major brands -- WebSphere, DB2, Lotus and Tivoli -- that run on Linux.

On Thursday, Steve Mills, IBM's senior vice president for software, is expected to announce during his keynote at LinuxWorld that IBM has generated US$1 billion in revenue from Linux.

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