For a long time now, Google seemed to be a leader in corporate webmail services. IBM is now aiming to cut their advantage short, by launching its own cloud-based platform, named LotusLive. It will be a relatively low-cost compared to other offerings.
At first it may not seem entirely different, when comparing it to Google Apps or Yahoo. The big difference is that it's offered by IBM, a company known for its aptitude in enterprise software. With LotusLive iNotes they want to offer "a business-class messaging solution for everyone in your organization."
LotusLive iNotes offers everything Google Apps, for instance, does too. POP 3, IMAP4 and authenticated SMTP are all included in the package. Anti-spam and anti-virus features, as well as SSL encryption are also implemented. A close look at the features page, though, reveals that it doesn't have all the bells and whistles the completion offers. On the service's homepage, IBM touts this as a great thing by claiming it has "Everything you need. Nothing you don't."
It's the price that will make this attractive to business, since it costs much less annually than Google's offering, for instance. IBM will sell it for $36 annually per worker, while Google Apps charges $50 per user annually. This could make a big difference in times like these, when saving money is everything. Another feature IBM has going for its new webmail service, is the Lotus brand and the good reputation it has in enterprise environments. It will certainly not prove a light competitor for Google. IBM expects the customers to include small and medium-sized businesses, or larger companies whose employees aren't tethered to an office desk.