Microsoft on Tuesday said it plans to offer a variety of analytical and data transfer tools, aimed at luring customers of IBM's rival Lotus Notes e-mail software to its own system that allows business to collaborate on projects via the Web.
Both Microsoft and IBM are vying for supremacy in the $2.8 billion corporate messaging market which includes collaboration tools such as e-mail, Web publishing, electronic calendars and project management systems.
Each company wants to play a leading role in defining how Web services will work together in the future.
To encourage customers to switch from their existing Lotus applications to Microsoft's platform, Microsoft said it would offer a tool to allow potential customers to identify and organize its most-used shared software.
In addition to 30 existing application templates, Microsoft also plans to offer three mew ones in its Windows SharePoint Services that are similar to popular applications in Lotus.