Lotus announces shipping of OS/2 version of SmartSuite

Lotus plans to begin shipping the OS/2 version of SmartSuite by September.

But new versions of three of the suite's five applications won't be ready until year's end.

The suite will initially ship with existing versions of Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet, the Approach database and the Organizer personal information manager, plus new releases of Word Pro and Freelance Graphics.

One analyst says it is unclear how many of the 13 million OS/2 users will buy the new version of SmartSuite when it becomes available, but a lack of competition guarantees healthy sales.

"There are no other OS/2 suites offered by competitors, and the OS/2 market is fairly large, so I expect a lot of [purchasing] activity by the big IBM accounts using OS/2," says Amy Wohl, editor of Trends Letter, an industry newsletter in Narbarth, Pennsylvania.

However, one user at a large OS/2 site disagrees.

"Lotus is too late to the party. It's exacerbating and exasperating for them to put out an OS/2 product so long after their Windows 95 products have been out," says Cary Serif, vice-president of applied technology at Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio, which has thousands of OS/2 licences. "So I am going to give them the same level of importance that they gave to getting the OS/2 version out."

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