IBM, Microsoft Push Rival Messaging Software Plans

Notes/Domino 6 ships; Exchange to upgrade next year

IBM and Microsoft Corp. are hitting each other with dueling upgrades of their e-mail and collaboration software, with both vendors touting new features aimed at making the products easier to use.

IBM's Lotus Software Group last week released an upgrade of its Notes and Domino software that includes improved performance and new features such as antispam technology, Java 2 Enterprise Edition support and tighter ties to DB2, WebSphere and other IBM software products.

Microsoft will follow this week by previewing the next version of its Exchange e-mail server at the Microsoft Exchange Conference 2002 in Anaheim, Calif. Code-named Exchange Titanium and due by mid-2003, the updated product will provide lower total cost of ownership and offer increased potential for cost-saving server consolidation, Microsoft officials said.

Notes and Domino 6, which IBM first detailed last January , were released along with upgrades of Lotus' Sametime instant messaging software and QuickPlace tools for Web-based collaboration. Lotus also rolled out new Web conferencing and e-learning software.

Phil Usher, executive vice president at Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. in Calabasas, Calif., said the insurance and financial services company has been using a beta-test version of Notes and Domino 6. Countrywide found "much-improved" network bandwidth performance for e-mail and other collaboration applications, he said.

"The important thing for us was that we could move to the new versions and gain the features without having to go to new hardware," Usher added.

Marlo Foltz, manager of e-school design at Credit Union National Association Inc. & Affiliates, said Lotus' Virtual Classroom e-learning software has provided big improvements over earlier products for beta-test users at the Madison, Wis.-based trade association for credit unions.

For example, an older e-learning tool that was part of Sametime required users to make software adjustments in order to ease collaboration in a virtual classroom, Foltz said. But the new application is much more intuitive and doesn't need as much customization, she added.

Lotus said the Domino 6 e-mail server software is priced at $894 per hardware server, while the Domino 6 application server starts at $2,308 per system. Notes 6 client licenses start at $70 per user.



New features from IBM and Microsoft include the following:


Automated client upgrade tools

Improved e-mail archiving

Antispam controls

Exchange Titanium:

Bundled administrative tools

Support for up to eight-node redundancy

Native support for mobile devices

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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