Lotus to bundle Navigator, Explorer

Duelling browsers Netscape and Internet Explorer will both be bundled with forthcoming versions of Lotus products.

Duelling browsers Netscape and Internet Explorer will both be bundled with forthcoming versions of Lotus products, Lotus says.

The browsers from Netscape and Microsoft will ship with Lotus' Notes 4.5 client, due in the fourth quarter, and with Lotus' SmartSuite, which is slated to ship early next year, according to Eileen Rudden, senior vice-president of communications products at Lotus. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company is also evaluating whether to bundle the browers with Weblicator, its browser add-on which was announced last week.

But the bundling agreement does not diminish Lotus' commitment to its Internotes Web Navigator, according to Rudden.

"We will continue to enhance the Web Navigator," Rudden says. One advantage of using Web Navigator is that users don't need a TCP/IP network connection all the way to the desktop, which some other browsers require, she says.

Microsoft's Internet Explorer will also be available on Lotus' Web site, and Rudden says she expected Navigator to be on Lotus' site soon. "We're going to try to do with one [browser] what we do with the other," she says.

Microsoft and Netscape did not balk at the joint bundling.

"I'm sure that either [company] would have preferred to be the only one but neither objected," Rudden says.

Lotus has also announced initiatives designed to counter user perception that Notes is proprietary and make its Domino Web server more open.

Lotus officials have announced that Java applets, mini programs written in Sun Microsystem's object-oriented, multimedia Internet programming language, will be executable in Domino 4.5. In addition, officials say developers will be able to create Java-based applications through the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) and the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) protocol. This would make it possible to access Domino-based features such as object store, security and messaging, they say.

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