The announcement, which seemed to be a U-turn on previous policy to make the applets server-based only, threw those following Lotus' fledgling Java strategy into confusion.
Last week, Bill DeStefanis, director of SmartSuite and internet marketing at Lotus, said engineers are working on a local PC installed version of the applets, which would have gone against eSuite's thin client objectives.
However, Mark Ryan, Lotus UK internet applications product manager, admitted this week: 'The wrong wording was used. There will not be a locally installed version of eSuite.'
Despite this, Ryan confirmed that, by the middle of the year, users will be able to download applets on to PCs as they do now with network computers.
Lotus engineers are also working on putting eSuite on laptops. Instead of downloading eSuite applets from the server, laptop users will have the Java Beans software components installed on the machine's hard drive.
The Beans will be automatically updated, and files synchronised when the user logs on to the Lan. But Ryan said the automatic synchronisation presents many issues, technical or otherwise, so the feature is unlikely to be available quickly.
He said these issues will be addressed when Maui, the next release of Lotus Domino server, is available at the end of the year. The company is targeting the laptop version for launch in early 1999, said Ryan.
Lotus inked one of its first eSuite deals, selling it to US firm All State Insurance Company. It will replace 50,000 PC Office seats with 40,000 units of IBM NC 1000 machines running eSuite. The applets will be stored on an AS/400 server.
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