Novell updates GroupWise, adds new look, access

Novell Inc. Wednesday announced that the latest version of its messaging and collaboration product is now available.

GroupWise 6.5 includes an enhanced interface for users, improved integration tools for developers, as well as increased scalability.

Part of Novell’s cross-platform Nterprise products, GroupWise 6.5 works with Novell NetWare and Windows NT/2000. Users can access their e-mail, calendars and contacts and perform document management functions from a variety of devices including laptop computers, wireless phones, PDAs and RIM BlackBerry pagers.

A new checklist view lets users keep up with their messages, tasks and appointments. They can drag and drop any items they want up to the checklist section of the mailbox, where they will remain to remind users of scheduled tasks. Users can also change the subject lines of messages can be changed to better describe and identify them.

A new contacts function has also been added that lets users record the personal information for their contacts, as well as record communications with them. For instance, users can add a time and date tab and comments for any contact. A new History tab allows users to view all messages they have received from or sent to a contact.

Novell also plans to add GroupWise Messenger, an instant messaging application that is in beta testing now, to GroupWise 6.5 at no cost. Users of GroupWise will be able to download it from the Novell site.

Although Novell’s GroupWise is third in market share behind Microsoft’s Exchange and IBM’s Lotus Notes, it still garners a group of as many as 34 million users.

Part of the attraction of GroupWise, analysts say, is the company’s pricing of the product. GroupWise is priced per user, rather by access device or server, thus encouraging users to access their mailboxes from a variety of devices.

GroupWise 6.5 is available starting at US$130 per user when bought in 25-user packs. Novell customers with volume licensing agreements can obtain GroupWise for considerably less.