IBM (Finally) Offers Lotus Notes/Domino Upgrade For Mac OS X

IBM also said it will ship by the end of this month a Mac OS X version of its free Lotus Symphony document, spreadsheet and presentation application suite.

The new Notes/Domino 8.5 supports the Mac OS X operating system, as well as Windows and Linux computers. When IBM began shipping the Eclipse-based Notes/Domino 8.0 in August 2007, it only supported Linux, Windows XP and Vista. Notes/Domino 8.5 is the first new release to support Mac OS X since late 2006.

Somewhere around 10 percent of Notes/Domino sales are for Mac computers, estimated product manager Dwight Morse. "And that's going up," he said. Those are particularly concentrated in education and consumer markets, although there are signs that Macs are increasingly being used for general business use.

IBM is touting Notes/Domino 8.5 as the "social computing" version of the product because it offers links between the Notes calendar and public Internet calendars from Google, Yahoo and other Web companies. It's also more tightly integrated with the Lotus Connections social networking application, Lotus Sametime unified communications software and Lotus Quickr file-sharing application.

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The link with Sametime, for example, lets Notes users see who is available before initiating a VoIP conversation. The community tools in Sametime also make it easier to identify someone within a group who has needed expertise.

The new release also provides significant savings in storage requirements because it stores only one copy of an attachment on a mail server even if the attachment is sent to many people. Morse said that could provide storage space savings of 40 percent.