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Novell previews GroupWise 6.5 collaboration suite

Novell continues to push ahead with its GroupWise application software, hoping to distinguish itself in a busy field of contenders that include Microsoft and IBM.

Earlier this week, Novell and partner vendor IntelliReach gave a preview of the latest version of GroupWise, due out in February, by exploring key features and reminding users of some of the existing product's strengths in terms of total cost of ownership and flexibility.

Howard Tayler, product manager for GroupWise at Novell, said the company would continue to offer its GroupWise line to enterprise business customers while providing a separate NetMail product for the Internet services market.

By providing different versions for different needs, the company believed it could better serve customers and provide flexibility that competitors could not offer.

Version 6.5 of GroupWise aims to take over where Version 6 left off by adding improved antispam features, which will allow users to reduce unwanted e-mail by 65%, and an instant messaging application called "Conversation".

One feature the new IM application will not have in its initial release with GroupWise 6.5 is compatibility with other IM clients in use. "We recognize that this is important, that this is something you're going to want to have," Tayler said. "It is in the works."

He added that one of the main strengths of Novell's applications compared with those of its competitors is their lower total cost of ownership.

Novell has some 34 million users of its GroupWise application, according to IDC figures.

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