Novell delivers GroupWise 8

Novell has released a new version of GroupWise, its answer to Microsoft's popular Outlook/Exchange collaboration suite

Novell has released a new version of GroupWise collaboration software, its answer to Microsoft's popular Outlook/Exchange suite.

GroupWise 8 has been available in has been available in beta form for several months, and Novell said on Monday the final code was ready to be implemented. GroupWise comes in Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and web versions, and Novell is touting the software as having a "lower total cost of ownership compared with Microsoft".

The GroupWise suite of email, calendar and instant-messaging software competes with IBM's Lotus/Domino and Microsoft's Exchange/Outlook. Microsoft on Monday officially launched Exchange as a hosted service as part of Microsoft Online, opening up another point of competition between the collaboration products.

In a statement, Novell said new features included the ability to utilise wikis, blogs and RSS feeds, in a mashup-style personal dashboard. Novell said the new software supported the iPhone, BlackBerry and Palm mobile platforms. It also has an updated calendaring system that can make some data publicly available (for example, to assist third-party contractors who work closely with internal staff at organisations).

The new version also has a number of contact-management features, such as the ability to associate geographical maps to contacts.

GroupWise also supports threaded email, which allows conversations to be read as discussions. The software costs $143 (£95) per seat, and Novell has not yet released UK prices.

ZDNet UK's Karen Friar contributed to this report.