Microsoft Gunning for Notes Users

Monday 11th July, 2005
"Microsoft is gunning for IBM's Lotus Notes users in an effort to quadruple the size of its ISV partner community around the Office desktop productivity suite." - write The Register

"The company will launch a sales and marketing campaign in September that encourages 100m Notes customers to build their future collaborative software applications and services on Office and SharePoint Portal Server.

Microsoft believes it can exploit what it perceives to be uncertainty and concern among users over the future of their platform caused by IBM's newer Workplace strategy."

Personally I think that, whilst there's a little bit of uncertainty about the hardware/licensing requirements for Workplace, the Workplace strategy couldn't be that much clearer. It's also possibly the most publicised roadmap I've ever seen from IBM Lotus.

"One spot where Microsoft hopes to lure Notes customers and potential partners is in the area of increasingly richer search technology. Capossela said search would be one of the key developments in Office 12, due in the second half of 2006."

Wow...a decent search...in Office? This I look forward to, I bet it won't use WinFS. Take some doing to beat Google Desktop Search for Enterprise for sure.

Possibly one of the funniest parts for me...."Capossela said things are different this time around, though, as Microsoft is preaching a message of co-existence with Notes instead of rip and replace."

I think what they actually mean is that they've given up trying to migrate Notes applications to another platform and so they're encouraging users to just carry on using them until end of life. I'm not sure they appreciate that many Notes applications don't have a limited shelf life and that the customers that use them already have Lotus skill in house. We'll be able to use our Notes application in Workplace...no such hope with Sharepoint Portal Server.

As far as I'm concerned, this is another one of those MS press releases that if summarised means..."please buy our new product because Ray Ozzie works for us now". What they don't realise is that Notes/Domino R6 was the most successful Lotus release ever (in terms of sales numbers and speed of migration) yet Ray planned his departure during the final development of R5. Thanks for a great product Ray but we're getting on just fine without you.

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