Microsoft is aiming to persuade users of IBM’s Lotus Notes to switch over to its own Office suite by releasing a range of migration tools.
As part of the first step in the migration process, Microsoft plans to release an application analyser during this quarter.
The analyser will allow firms to see which programs are actually being used in their business. Later, a data migration tool, which is expected in the next quarter, will allow firms to transfer data from applications within the templates of Lotus Notes.
Microsoft’s move is part of the battle between its Exchange e-mail server and IBM’s Domino mail server.
IBM updated its Notes and Domino software in the third quarter of 2005, to deliver easier development and improve overall performance.
Microsoft is currently testing a new version of Exchange and is planning to launch a new version of its Office suite, which includes the Outlook e-mail client, later this year.
Microsoft believes that persuading Lotus users to adopt Office will also tempt them to its mail server.
But its new migration tools will not deal with niche applications Lotus users have built via their Domino platform.
Domino is seen by the industry as a more comprehensive development platform than Exchange, although many Domino users don’t fully use its full capabilities.