IBM has formally announced the update to its Lotus Sametime that it has been promoting for months.

The instant-messaging and collaboration software built for businesses contains VoIP capabilities, integrates with IM clients from AOL, Yahoo and Google and provides client-side support for Mac OS X 10.4 and Linux.

IBM has also added support for the open source Eclipse development framework so third-party companies could build applications on top of Sametime.

At the launch, partners including Cisco and Dassault also showed off applications that use Sametime to let users connect in real time. Cisco demonstrated plug-ins that let users "click to call" a VoIP audio conference that uses the networking company's technology. And Dassault is using its 3D modeling technology in conjunction with Sametime to let Sametime users view models of products - for example, an airplane - and connect via instant messaging or voice with the designers of different parts of the product.

Pricing for Sametime 7.5 is $55 per user.