IBM to launch GMail rival

IBM is introducing an inexpensive web-based corporate email service to compete with Google Apps, which has recently suffered several high-profile outages.

IBM to launch GMail rival

Big Blue will likely try to capitalise on the damage that those outages have caused to Google Apps over the past year. Last month millions of business users could not access GMail for almost two hours.

An IBM spokesman says the company will start selling its LotusLive iNotes next week. The lightweight email service will cost $36 per user per year, about 25% less than what Google charges.

IBM’s offering does not have as many bells and whistles as Google’s, but the technology giant could attract customers because it has decades more experience serving the business market. Its products include Lotus Notes, one of the world’s two most widely used email programs.

“The IBM brand will help a lot,” says Forrester Research analyst Liz Herbert.

iNotes will also compete with a web-based email service from Microsoft that costs about $120 per user per year, according to the software maker’s website.

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