"IBM, not exactly a powerhouse in desktop applications, has its
own attack on the desktop planned for later this year. IBM Software
and its Lotus Software Group have built J2EE-based spreadsheet,
document, and presentation graphics 'applications' that will be
bundled for free with the company's WebSphere portal, sources
"It's not a full-frontal assault on Microsoft Office, which
controls an estimated 90 percent or more of corporate desktops.
Rather, channel players and other observers see the move as
something of a Trojan horse. The applications are served up 'on
demand' from the server.
"CIOs, for whom buying portals has become a top priority, will
be able to get for free what IBM says will be 80 percent of the
Office functionality most people use, said one channel source
familiar with the plan. 'IBM can now say, 'Look, you can pay for
half the portal with what you'll save in Office,'' the source