Lotus wraps up applications in single package
Like many industry giants, Lotus understands the importance of the Web and the role it will play in the new generation of computer use.
According to Lotus, its latest software, Notes 4.6 client, to be released in Hong Kong next month, has been designed to be a complete package of applications that enhances the Web user's experience and efficiency through practical integration.
'The beauty of Notes 4.6 client is that it puts the most commonly used applications on one interface. You can access your word program, Web sites, e- mail, calendar and the like all from the one interface,' Hedy Ho, Lotus marketing manager, Asia North, said. 'It enhances the user's efficiency and reduces the complexity of managing and using different applications.' Lotus claims it continues to surpass its primary competitors and provides users with a complete interface, a set of object services applied across the entire product and, perhaps most important, integration that brings products such as word processors, spreadsheets and browsers into a 'single, seamless environment'.
According to the company, the new features in Notes 4.6 make it more attractive as a full-service Net client alternative for the future user. The new features include integration with other applications, extended Internet integration, task-oriented interface and contact management abilities.
The two integration features are interesting as they are a reflection of the demand by users to be able to effectively use all the applications and tools together.
Integration in Notes 4.6 extends integration to business productivity applications such as Lotus SmartSuite and Microsoft Office application files.
This means that Microsoft office users now have a viable communications client alternative that increases their choice in desktop systems. The extended Internet integration combines the Internet Explorer ActiveX component and ties it with Notes client so that Web pages can be stored, forwarded, shared, taken off-line, edited and sent live to others.
'We believe this integration will be our selling point and is our edge over competitors. Lotus Notes 4.6 allows users to choose which applications suit their needs best. They can use the Lotus applications or the integrated applications. It provides an openness that Lotus encourages,' she said.
This Web-assisted application and integration is also possible through the Lotus Weblicator, which is designed to be a Web information management tool enabling the user to do off-line everything that can be done on-line.
The Weblicator allows Web pages to be copied on to the computer's hard drive. Users can then go off-line to work with the pages - as they would if connected.
Lotus claims the advantage this provides is the increased speed in working from the computer's hard drive.
It also keeps any stored pages updated by scheduling monitors to go on-line and search Web sites for new or changed information. It then automatically updates the stored pages, again saving time.