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Lotus Software

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Lotus Software (called Lotus Development Corporation before its acquisition by IBM) is an American software company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lotus was founded in 1982 by partners Mitch Kapor and Jonathan Sachs[?]. Lotus introduced its first product, the Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet application, in January 1983.

As the popularity of the personal computer grew, Lotus quickly came to dominate the office applications suite market. Lotus introduced other office products such as the Jazz office suite for the Macintosh computer, WordPro, AmiPro, Organizer, ScreenCam. In the early 1990s, these office products were bundled together under the name Lotus SmartSuite. Although SmartSuite was initially a popular and affordable alternative to Microsoft Office, Lotus never regained its dominance in the desktop applications market. SmartSuite still ships by default with some Compaq and IBM laptops, although it has continued to lose market share since its launch.

Lotus began focusing on networking with its acquisition of cc:Mail in 1991, years before other competitors in the PC world had even started thinking about the Internet. Facing the inevitable loss of desktop market share to competitors like Microsoft, Lotus made a strategic decision in the early 1990s to focus on the groupware and Internet market. In 1993, Lotus acquired Ray Ozzie[?]'s Iris Associates and launched its Lotus Notes groupware platform. However, Lotus's dominant groupware position was soon to face stiff competition from Microsoft's Exchange server.

Corporate culture

Following in founder Mitch Kapor's footsteps, Lotus has always had a reputation as a progressive company. In 1986, Lotus was the first major company to support an AIDS walk. In 1990, Lotus opened a daycare for the children of its employees. In 1992, Lotus was the first major company to offer full benefits to same-sex partners. In 1998, Lotus was named one of the Top 10 best companies to work for working mothers by Working Mother magazine.

Lotus, which employs over 4,000 employees worldwide, was acquired by IBM in July 1995 for 3.5 billion dollars. IBM's purchase was greeted with apprehension by many Lotus employees, who feared that the corporate culture of "Big Blue" would smother their creativity. To the surprise of many employees and journalists, IBM adopted a very hands-off, laissez-faire attitude towards its new acquisition.

However, by the year 2000, the inevitable assimilation of Lotus was almost complete. While the mass employee defections that IBM so feared did not materialize, many long-time Lotus employees did complain about the transition to IBM's culture (IBM's employee benefits programs, in particular, were singled out as inferior to Lotus's very progressive programs).

Lotus's headquarters in Cambridge is divided into two buildings, the Lotus Development Building (LDB) (on the banks of the Charles River) and the Rogers Street building, located adjacent to the CamrbidgeSide Galleria.

Origins

Mitch Kapor got the name for his company from 'The Lotus Position' or 'Padmasana[?]'. Kapor used to be a teacher of Transcendental_Meditation of Maharishi_Mahesh_Yogi.

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