IBM Lotus, Novell To Offer Linux Support Across Messaging Platforms


Second and third-ranked e-mail vendors ready for LinuxWorld splash


As LinuxWorld Expo nears, IBM Lotus and Novell--the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the e-mail world--are preparing significant Linux support across their messaging and collaboration platforms.

On Wednesday, Lotus announced that it plans to offer Linux support for its Web e-mail client, instant messaging solution and Domino Server on IBM's mainframe as part of its Notes 6.5 release this fall.

The Cambridge, Mass.-based company said it will make available Lotus Domino Web Access--formerly known as iNotes Web Access--for Linux and Unix systems. Lotus currently offers an iNotes client for Windows and originally promised iNotes for Linux last January.

By supporting the open-source Mozilla browser, the Domino Web access client enables users to access their e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, replication and business applications from any Internet kiosk or PC.

As part of its Notes/Domino 6.5 release, Lotus will also offer a version of the Domino e-mail server for Linux on IBM's zSeries mainframe, the company said.

Lotus also said Wednesday that it has extended its instant messaging and Web conferencing platform--and mobile EveryPlace client--to support Linux and Unix clients. Version 3.1 of the collaboration software has also been updated to support the company's Domino 6 e-mail and groupware server, the company said.

Lotus said Wednesday it is the only messaging vendor to offer a full suite of messaging client and server software for Linux.

But Novell, the third leading e-mail vendor, plans to release its GroupWise Linux client in late 2003 or early 2004 and is expected to announce at LinuxWorld Expo next week GroupWise support for Linux servers, sources said. Novell would not discuss its LinuxWorld Expo plans.

Novell is delivering on its promise at Brainshare 2003 to move all of its key services including file, print, messaging and directory services to Linux. Novell's Nterprise Services For Linux 1.0 is currently in beta testing.

Microsoft, the top e-mail vendor, is preparing major releases of its messaging, collaboration and instant messaging servers--Exchange 2003, SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Office Live Real-Time Communications Server-in September, but for Windows only.