Lotus Cuts Prices to Gain Market Share

Lotus plans to slash competitive upgrade pricing for its SmartSuite desktop application package and launch a new bundling strategy aimed at capturing a larger share of the application suite market.

The competitive upgrade for SmartSuite for Windows and OS/2 will now be available for US$149, down from US$199.

Lotus officials say they are also bundling a trial version of SmartSuite and their WordPro word processor with Hewlett-Packard's DeskJet 600 printers.

Lotus officials say the company's recent bundling agreements with AST Research, Acer, Epso, and IBM amount to 8 million new seats for SmartSuite. Lotus also has plans for a major marketing campaign that will set the stage for a late US summer release of its updated SmartSuite package, which will include a 32- bit version of the 1-2-3 spreadsheet application.

Lotus hopes that its upcoming Component Starter Pack, consisting of small, task-specific OLE custom controls that will work inside Notes and other containers, will sway some users away from Microsoft's Office and into a new business applications model. The pack enters beta testing in two weeks and will ship by the US summer.

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