Enterprise CMS vendor Open Text pushes towards the corporate blogging and collaboration market with updates to the education-centric FirstClass communications suite of products.FirstClass aims to provide unified communications and collaboration within a corporate network environment. The suite of applications includes e-mail, instant messaging, calendars, contact management, workgroup collaboration, document sharing, file storage, web publishing, blogging, podcasting, and unified voice and fax messaging. FirstClass has evolved from the popular Mac oriented BBS system of pre-Internet days to a one time competitor of Lotus Notes and Microsoft Office, to a niche education product. The release of version 8.3 marks yet another turning point for FirstClass as it lines up again to compete with collaboration products from the likes of IBM, Microsoft, and SilkRoad Technologies. "The FirstClass Collaboration Suite 8.3 is a significant leap forward for our customers," said John Myers, Vice President and General Manager with the FirstClass Division of Open Text Corporation. "The new user interface was carefully designed to make it easier for new users to transition to the product quickly, and for all users to more effectively exploit the wide range of features built into FirstClass." The new features of v8.3 include: * Web publishing enhancements to support blogging and podcasting * Collaboration workspaces (think SharePoint Services) for resource sharing, discussions, calendaring, contacts, etc. * Document management with collaboration and templating * User interface enhancements supporting toggling between the FirstClass desktop and a new application suite view * Bi-directional mobile client support with SyncML for mobile users * A Universal version for Mac OS X, enabling FirstClass to run normally on both PowerPC and the new Intel-based Macs * Performance enhancements