Lotus to support Outlook as Notes client

In a major about-face, Lotus has announced that it is working with Microsoft to turn Microsoft's Outlook 2000 into a client for Lotus Notes. Previously, users had to use Lotus' own Notes client to take advantage of Notes on the back-end, but this new strategy to co-exist with Microsoft's popular Office products is designed to help Notes succeed in a Windows world. Speaking at the Lotusphere tradeshow, Lotus CEO Jeff Papows said that the plan doesn't indicate that the company is backing off from the Notes client market at all.

"We must collaborate with other companies, even those we compete wit," he said. "We have not conceded the client market here, not one inch. We have a superior offering. But Microsoft Office is a good product."

Soon, Outlook users will have the full range of capabilities that are offered by Lotus's own client, including replication. Papows noted (ahem) that Lotus had exceeded the projections of parent company IBM by adding 22 million new Notes users in 1999, raising the installed base to 55 million users

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