Two software vendors that use Lotus's eSuite as part of their portal solutions said they are still in the dark about Lotus' intentions for the tool. And at least one, Phoenix-based InfoImage, says if eSuite disappears, it will be replaced in its Freedom portal by Microsoft's Office Web Components.
Rumors surfaced last week that Lotus had decided to terminate eSuite, its set of Java components. The disappointing market for Java-based network computers -- eSuite's original target market -- was quoted as the reason for the termination.
Lotus refused to comment on the rumors or discuss its plans for eSuite.
Several software vendors, including InfoImage and Quadrian in New York, are using eSuite as a front-end component for visualising data in their enterprise portal products. Officials at both companies said Lotus hadn't informed them about its plans.
"This is disturbing news if it is true," said Quadrian CEO Philip Chambadal. He said Quadrian was happy with the performance and features of the eSuite spreadsheet component but that it could be replaced by Java components from other vendors if needed.
InfoImage chief marketing officer Jon Michaels said the InfoImage Freedom portal, a new release of which is being introduced today, supports both Lotus eSuite and Microsoft's Office Web Components. "We will continue to [support] both, unless one should disappear," Michaels said. He added that many customers who also use the full-blown Microsoft Office software prefer the Microsoft components to eSuite.