LOTUS Development has announced it will release a new low-end version of its Notes client next month. Called Notes Express, the new client is designed to provide a core set of features the company says most customers want to put on their employees' desktops. 'Notes Express will allow our customers to more widely deploy Notes throughout their organisations,' said George Westwood, Lotus' product manager for communication products in Asia. Expected to sell for HK$780 in bulk, it retails for US$159. The existing client is US$495. Notes Express offers electronic mail, discussion, news and references databases and a shared telephone book. Lotus plans an aggressive localisation programme with Notes Express and aims to ship both traditional and simplified Chinese versions for Windows, as well as several other languages, before the end of this year. English versions of Notes Express will be available for OS/2 and Mac users. Mr Westwood said Lotus planned to release versions of its Notes products for Microsoft's Windows 95, which was developed under the codename 'Chicago'', shortly after the operating system would be released next year. 'The first Chicago Notes clients we'll see will be with Notes version four which will be the middle of next year,' he said. Most Notes products sell in the US, which represents more than 60 per cent of the market. Europe follows with 30 per cent and the Asia-Pacific accounts for the remaining 10 per cent. Mr Westwood attributed this to the original plan to sell Notes directly in the US.