The X/Open Group Ltd has announced that two more software vendors have joined its independent software vendors advisory council: they are Lotus Development Corp, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and ASCII Corp, Tokyo. Lotus, which revealed the development of a Unix version of its 1-2-3 spreadsheet at AT&T’s Open Look launch last month, joined the council because it considers the X/Open Common Applications Environment the most cost-effective way to tap into the open systems market, according to president Jim Manzi. The firm’s involvement alongside existing member Microsoft Corp means that X/Open can now boast the support of the two largest worldwide software vendors. ASCII Corp is the first Japanese X/Open partner, and its involvement follows a recent fact-finding visit to Japan by X/Open executives Geoff Morris and Mike Lambert. According to Lambert, the purpose of the visit was to establish significant information exchange agreements in advance of the setting up of more formal relationships. An application for full X/Open membership from an unnamed Japanese hardware manufacturer is apparently still under consideration, according to Morris.