Lotus Notes Release 4 was officially launched in Hong Kong last Wednesday with a special appearance by the program's creator. Ray Ozzie, the president of Iris Associates, the development company owned by Lotus that created the first version of Notes back in 1990, said he hoped Asia-Pacific could become a major market for the groupware and messaging program. 'This market is just booming,' Mr Ozzie said. 'If there is any market in the world where I really want to concentrate our efforts on, it is this one.' Lotus claims more than 4.5 million people use Notes to improve key business processes like customer service, sales, account management, and product development. Notes is classed as 'groupware' along with Novell's GroupWise and Microsoft's Exchange program because it helps speed up the flow of information among individual users and teams. The number of users of Notes in Hong Kong will double this year compared with the number of users in 1994, Alfred Tsoi, Lotus Hong Kong's general manager, said. About 200 companies currently use Notes in Hong Kong, Hedy Ho, Lotus Hong Kong marketing manager, said. In 1996, Notes would contribute more than 50 per cent of income to Lotus Hong Kong's operations, Mr Tsoi said. 'Traditionally Hong Kong has been very strong in desktop products for us.' AT & T decided to stop using Notes for its communications services two weeks ago. Mr Ozzie said AT & T's decision to quit using Notes was a 'very political thing'. He claimed that some AT & T officials were attempting to reintroduce Notes within the company's Internet infrastructure.