IBM has challenged Microsoft's desktop dominance with a low-cost education deal on its Lotus Smartsuite and eSuite software. Negotiated by the Combined Higher Education Software Team, the National Passport for Learning deal is available from today. Prices are based on full-time equivalent staff, faculty and student numbers and work out at less than 4p per potential user at large institutions. Limited support is included but discs and manuals must be bought separately. Under another deal to be announced today, Lotus software will be available at Pounds 1 to Pounds 2.50 per FTE, with prices fixed until December 2002. Total Campus Option includes home use and additional support. See www.chest.ac.uk.