Lotus Logs On As An Adobe Ally

Adobe Systems Inc. knows that one big success doesn't guarantee anything--at least not in the computer business. Its PostScript program is used in most laser printers, but a related program called Adobe Type Manager has not fared so well. Type Manager manipulates characters on a screen the way PostScript handles them on a printer, thus guaranteeing that what's on the screen will match what is printed. Adobe's problem is that Microsoft Corp., whose MS-DOS program is the core software in most PCs, has a competing product. Its type-manager program will be included in Windows 3.1, the next version of its popular graphical user-interface program.

But on May 20, Adobe gained an important ally. Longtime Microsoft rival Lotus Development Corp. agreed to incorporate Type Manager in some new programs, beginning with the newly unveiled Windows version of its market-leading 1-2-3 spreadsheet. Adobe Chief Executive John E. Warnock says the Lotus deal will give Adobe the leverage it needs to sign up other software makers.

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