IBM will today announce the forthcoming release of its Lotus Connections, a set of blogging and social networking software built to improve intra-company productivity. Like a My Space designed for the corporate world, Lotus Connections will allow a company's employees to set up virtual worlds in which they can meet like-minded colleagues and trade ideas. According to IBM's VP for Social Software, Jeff Schick, The purpose of Lotus is to “unlock the latent expertise in an organization.” IBM will introduce the software at the annual Lotus Developers Conference being held in Orlando this year. IBM's software unit has been a true growth driver for the company recently with management reporting last week that software revenues increased 14% over the prior year period. Lotus Connections will likely pose a challenge to Microsoft Exchange.
• Sources: Press Release, New York Times, Reuters, MarketWatch , IBM Q4 2006 Earnings Call Transcript
• Related commentary: IBM Flexing Muscle In Software, Does IBM Spell Trouble For Hardware Sales?, IBM Profit Up 11%, but Shares Drop on Hardware Sales
• Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: International Business Machines Corp. (IBM). Competitors: Microsoft (MSFT). ETFs: Internet Architecture HOLDRS (IAH), iShares Goldman Sachs Technology (IGM), Technology SPDR (XLK)
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