In a move aimed squarely at Netscape, Lotus announced today that they will bundle Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 with their popular Notes product and work to more tightly integrate the two. Lotus said Explorer 4.0 will be added to the Lotus Notes 4.6 client package and to an upcoming version of SmartSuite after Explorer 4.0's final release, expected in September.

Currently, Lotus ships IE 3.x and Netscape Navigator 3.x with Notes. It had intended to use Navigator 4.0, but Netscape refuses to unbundle it from the massive Communicator suite. Some of the integrated features in Communicator compete directly with Notes and Lotus was tired of waiting for Netscape to unbundle Navigator.

Lotus is already using the Component Object Model (COM, the basis of all ActiveX technology) in Notes and intends to support IE 4.0 features such as Dynamic HTML and CDF Webcasting, as well as Windows NT 5.0, said Lotus president Jeff Papows. It will also support other Microsoft technologies such as Active Desktop, Active Directory, and Active Server Pages (ASP)