Lotus Development founder Mitch Kapor is running a project that aims to deliver an open-source alternative to Microsoft's Outlook, Cnet reports.

Outlook is Microsoft's professional email, calendar and contacts application. It ships with Microsoft Office.

The project aims to develop many of the features available in Outlook - but is prioritizing tools that let people collaborate and work together in groups and share information. Kapo is providing five million dollars from his personal account as start up funds for the project. Cnet claims the software will incorporate Jabber, an open-source instant messaging system, and carry an email-encryption system.

The organization responsible for the project is the OPen Source Application Foundation, which Kapor founded last year. The software will run on Mac OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems. The group is enlisting volunteers to help with the project – notably Andy Hertzfield, a member of the team that designed the original Macintosh operating system.