Lotus Founder Mitch Kapor to Challenge Outlook with Open-Source Alternative

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Date: Thursday, October 24th, 2002, 06:28
Category: Archive

Former software tycoons have been known to invest their own money on basketball teams and presidential bids. Isn’t it nice that Mitch Kapor is instead taking $5 million out of his pocket to launch a free, open-source competitor to Microsoft’s Outlook, running on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X?

Cnet reports the new software will duplicate much of Outlook’s e-mail, calendar, and contacts features, emphasizing sharing and collaboration functionality, and will include open-source IM technology Jabber and e-mail encryption. The software will be offered for free, with revenue apparently to come from licensing the code for commercial products. Kapor tells CNet that the software won’t be a business threat to Microsoft, or Lotus for that matter, but could be a great option for organizations that can’t afford expensive and complex Outlook, which depends on the Exchange server for collaborative functionality. We’ll find out how serious a product Kapor’s nonprofit organization has created when it ships: Cnet reports the software is expected in pre-release by the end of the year with the first release at the beginning of next year.

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