IBM is pleased to announce that they are to release a version of Lotus Notes client groupware for Linux. A Linux client has been a long time demand of users of Notes, of which there are some 125 million worldwide. The first available version will be for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Update 3 clients, with a version for Novell Suse Linux desktop coming within three months. IBM promise that, so long as there is a Domino server 7.0 back-end, Linux Notes users will be able to run all applications that are currently available on Windows.

Ed Brill, business unit executive for worldwide Notes sales, said IBM expects significant growth in the popularity of Linux on the desktop. In addition, many IBM clients outside the United States have asked for an alternative to products based on Microsoft's Windows operating systems. "Some of the key markets are Germany, eastern Europe, India, China, and Brazil," he said.
Lotus Notes 7 for Linux should be available in about two weeks time, and will be priced at about $130, with discounts for large-scale purchases. The move is seen by industry analysts as a good one for IBM - in launching Notes for the Linux platform, they can further expand the usability of the Linux OS in corporate environments and can position both the OS and Notes to better compete with similar offerings from the likes of Microsoft.