Hewlett-Packard Co has been expanding its electronic messaging activities with a string of alliances and deals, and new and improved OpenMail clients. The first of the agreements, a sales and marketing initiative, is with Wayne, Pennsylvania-based Soft-Switch Inc: under the terms of this, Soft-Switch’s Enterprise Mail Exchange multi-protocol backbone switch will be sold with OpenMail where a combined implementation is felt to offer the best system. The companies say that they will carry out interoperability tests between the products, and ensure that future product developments are in tune for the two products. Support will in general be provided by each individual company for that component of the system, but the companies say that this may vary in individual cases. Also announced was a joint marketing, sales and support agreement with LinkAge Office Information Systems Inc, which is to act as a gateway supplier for the HP Electronic Messaging Solution, which is based on the company’s OpenMail system: LinkAge’s SNA Distribution Services SNADSm and OfficeVision/VM Profs gateways for OpenMail on the HP 9000 will be used interconnect OpenMail Client of Choice users with users in IBM Corp MVS, VM and AS/400 environments. Similarly, LinkAge’s Profs gateway will be used as part of Hewlett-Packard’s Legacy Migration Services Programme to support the co-existence of users during migrations from mainframe- to Hewlett-Packard-based messaging systems. Both Hewlett-Packard and LinkAge will market and support the products. The final agreement encompasses joint marketing, sales and support and is with Dexotek Canada Corp: it is based around Dexotek’s Unison client-server-based diary and scheduler, which will be used as a corporate-wide scheduling service using OpenMail as the transport mechanism. Adding to its Clients of Choice programme, Hewlett-Packard also says that Lotus Development Corp’s cc:Mail for Windows 2.0 and cc:Mail for OS/2 can now be used as direct clients to OpenMail, while the company has also enhanced the Microsoft Corp Mail for OpenMail driver to support greater automation (such as for replaying and forwarding messages), remote connections, and provide the ability to download all or part of the OpenMail directory to the user’s personal computer for off-line message composition. Hewlett-Packard also announced new versions of its own clients including a new Hewlett-Packard interface for IBM AIX, and new versions of existing interfaces for Apple Computer Inc’s Macintosh, and HP-UX and Sun Microsystems Inc Solaris workstations: the new versions offer an iconic interface said to match the existing Hewlett-Packard interface for Windows. Additionally, Hewlett-Packard announced that it intends to support the VIM 2.0 Vendor-Independent Messaging specification in early 1994, although no further details were offered.