IBM launches Lotus Notes for Linux

Linux is expected to exceed Windows as the top operating system for app dev, according to a recent Evans Data Corp. survey of 400 developers working with open-source software. This week IBM released Lotus Notes for Linux, marking the first time IBM has supported biz-grade e-mail, group scheduling and other Notes apps on the open desktop system.

IBM listened to developer demands for more flexibility on the Linux desktop and responded with a collaboration platform that merges server support for Intel and mainframe Linux with Linux on Lotus Notes and Domino.

The Lotus Notes platform includes more than 100 new and existing functions that help manage IT workloads. Developers running Lotus Notes 7 on Linux will have access to enterprise-level messaging systems (said to be the most open and interoperable enterprise collaboration platform available), a calendaring/scheduling system that centralizes management of conference rooms and meeting resources, and expanded mobile support that offers similar offline capabilities as Windows.

“IBM Lotus Notes on Linux lends credibility to our mission of delivering open-based technology to customers,” says Avinash Singh, COO, Birlasoft─a firm specializing in global technology services. “Our practice helps IBM customers take advantage of this open world by securing the porting and testing of current applications safely so they work across a variety of platforms. IBM’s use of the Eclipse framework as a client development platform brings significant value to our customers and it allows us to create customized solutions efficiently and cost-effectively.”

With an upcoming version (code-named ‘Hannover’) of Lotus featuring open-source functions, developers can create desktop software compatible across multiple operating systems without wasting time recoding.

Other benefits of Lotus Notes on Linux include the relative ease developers will have integrating a larger variety of software apps from biz partners and independent vendors. According to IBM, the easy-to-configure Linux environment is particularly advantageous to small and medium-sized start-up businesses. And Lotus Notes apps provide solutions for corporate challenges like help desk operations and biz process workflow.

In other news, IBM also announced the expansion of its ‘Migrate to the Penguin’ program, which offers IBM Business Partners up to $20,000 for converting customers from Microsoft Exchange to Lotus Notes and Domino on Linux. IBM Lotus Notes on Linux is available now and supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4, Update 3. Current Lotus Notes users can run their existing licenses on the Linux desktop.