Lotus claims 15 million communications seats

Lotus, riding a wave of interest in the Internet, has reported that its installed base of communications software seats, including Notes and cc:Mail, now exceeds 15 million.

Lotus made the announcement last week at the Lotus European Technology Conference in Maastricht, the Netherlands, where Lotus discussed plans to expand Internet capabilities and put the spotlight on third-party vendors that support Notes with add-on products.

A recent surge of interest in Notes can be attributed at least in part to the explosion of interest in the Internet, says Ray Ozzie, president of Iris Associates, which develops the Notes product for Lotus, an IBM subsidiary.

"You constantly see articles in the general press now about the Internet -- and this has helped sales of Notes," says Ozzie.

Looking to capitalise on the interest in the Internet, Lotus is looking for ways to expand support for Internet-based appications, says Ozzie. Currently, Notes support for the Internet includes the InterNotes Web Publisher, which enables businesses to create, manage and administer their intranet and public Web sites using Notes.

Lotus is considering offering its replication specification, which controls the document exchange and updating capabilities of Notes, as a standard extension to Hypertext Markup Language, says Ozzie. With the replication specification accepted as a standard, HTML documents could be replicated to any database incorporating the standard, says Ozzie.

Ozzie also says that Lotus is experimenting with ways to use Sun's Java, an object-oriented programming language for the Web, in Notes, and has tested Java applets running inside the Notes environment.

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