International Business Machines Corp. is launching a new offensive against Google Inc. and others in the email market, offering a Web-based service that marks a rare direct appeal by Big Blue to end users.
The computing giant on Tuesday is unveiling IBM Verse, an email service melded with other collaboration and social-media functions. The company plans to offer the cloud-based software free to individuals and small businesses, and also hopes to sell a commercial version to businesses.
Pitching a product directly to end users, who can start using Verse on a self-service basis, has been a rarity for IBM since the company sold its personal computer division in 2005.
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