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LinuxWorld Roundup: IBM Adds Firefox Support To Domino

IBM said Tuesday at LinuxWorld that it plans to add support for the open-source Firefox Web browser to its light Domino Web Access client. Also at the event, Novell said the company and its partners will sell MySQL support.

The array of Linux-compatible e-mail systems is getting bigger.

IBM said Tuesday at LinuxWorld that it plans to add support for the open-source Firefox Web browser to its light Domino Web Access client.

Formerly known as iNotes, the light Domino Web Access client already supported the fuller-featured Mozilla browser as well as Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Firefox support will be available later this month when IBM Lotus releases Domino 7, according to Nallu Reddy, program director for Lotus Linux marketing.

Firefox has a growing constituency among those dissatisfied with the market-leading Internet Explorer browser. Mozilla.org, the organization backing Firefox, said there have been 75 million Firefox downloads to date, and some industry observers say the browser is closing in on 10 percent market share.

Non-Windows-centric solutions are gaining traction in smaller companies and in large firms that don't want to be locked into one operating system, according to some mail integrators. And the beauty of IBM Domino is that it's a name brand on Linux, they said.

"We see some adoption of Linux mail among smaller customers. IBM fully intends to get its Linux offering up to enterprise-level, [although] the reality is it's probably not ready yet to house thousands of users on one or two servers," said Shoby John, CEO of Integrasys, a Houston-based e-mail solution provider.

Also at LinuxWorld, held this week in San Francisco, IBM said Red Hat will offer a trial version of IBM Workplace Services Express 2.5 with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The software is good for a 90 days, the companies said.

IBM partner Ericom Software, Closter, N.J., is offering a desktop plugin for IBM's Workplace Managed Client (WMC) to give Linux users access to legacy applications "from green screens to Windows apps, preserving their high-fidelity look and feel," Reddy said.

The Ericom plugin, Reddy explained, "remotes the GUI to the desktop through the WMC workplace portal. The benefit is for those who want to embrace Linux desktops and want to roll them out over time and migrate applications over time. It can cost $300 per user to go to [Microsoft] Office 2003. This gives customers a choice.”

Last February, IBM pledged to invest $100 million in Linux-related projects, but the Armonk, N.Y.-based IT giant has since been quiet on that front.

In other LinuxWorld news, OpenXchange is offering a free migration tool from SUSE Openexchange to the new OpenXchange Server 5. It also announced availability of the OpenXchange e-mail on Red Hat Linux. Historically, the product has been closely linked to SUSE Linux. Novell subsequently bought SUSE and now sells its own messaging system as well as OpenXchange, creating some confusion and conflict.

Novell said at the show that it--and its channel partners--can now resell support for the popular MySQL database. Waltham, Mass.-based Novell joins Dell, which said on Monday that it will offer MySQL Network, the subscription support for MySQL.

"This gives us a much broader reach than before. This is a big vote of confidence because we're still a modest-sized company," said Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing for MySQL, Cupertino, Calif.

Some solution providers said having big-name support backup is critical. For example, Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Novacoast is a VAR and integrator but also ends up doing custom application work for customers, said CTO Adam Gray.

"Having Novell or Dell support helps us better support the customers,” Gray said. “They're both 24 hours a day, and if I'm up at three in the morning fixing something, it's nice to have that."

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