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Always leaning, but not falling over
Wed 27 Aug 2003, 05:22 PM
by Ben Langhinrichs
Appearances aren't everything, in software or in "real life". Lotus Notes reminds me of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which has spent hundreds of years looking precarious, but never actually falls over. Year after year, ever since about 1995, I have read reports and listened to the talking heads talk about how Notes and Domino are doomed. The reasons vary, although it is often some combination of "standards" and web browsers. Yet, here we are, it is 2003, the Notes client and Domino server markets both appear strong, there are companion products doing well as well, and the web browser with all its standards is still a weak imitation of the rich client experience.
In contrast to Lotus Notes is Microsoft Exchange. With the wealth of Bill Gates and the unstoppable marketing prowess of Microsoft and the sheeplike devotion of the media, you would have thought Microsoft Exchange was a sure winner. Again and again I have seen it declared the "inevitable victor" in any matchup with Lotus Notes (although the latest round of articles has shifted to .NET as the "inevitable victor" in any matchup), yet Microsoft announced today that support would be extended for an additional year for Exchange 5.5, clearly because nobody has bothered to upgrade to later versions. Some say only 15% have upgraded. On top of this, reports are that people don't really like Exchange 5.5, but tolerate it because of Microsoft pressure. How long can that last in the face of ever more intrusive viruses and security patches that often break as much as they fix?
All I can say is, appearances can be deceiving. The Old Man of the Mountain (shown here from 1885) looked like it would last forever, but a facade is just that. What counts in the long run is not the appearance of stability, but the track record to prove it. In that race, Lotus Notes is and continues to be the real winner, and that is why Genii Software continues to focus on that platform.
Copyright © 2003 Genii Software Ltd.
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