IBM drops Lotus brand from next version of Notes
Venerable brand to survive in other products
Update Lotus Notes is no more and will henceforth be known as ... drumroll please … IBM Notes.
Big Blue quietly let it be known the Lotus brand will disappear in the forthcoming version 9.0 of Notes and Domino, products that back in 1995 were so desirable it wrote a check for $US.3.52bn to acquire them.
That acquisition was literally a hold the front page event for your correspondent*, as a price tag of $US.3.52bn was all-but-unheard-of in those far-off days, when Notes was the clear leader in a product category known as “groupware”.
Notes' combination of messaging and a lightweight, database-driven, application development environment made it a very tasty prospect for enterprises living the client/server dream of the mid 1990s. Users often weren't so enthralled: Notes' whopping client strained the first-generation Pentium-powered PCs of the day. But then so did almost any app.
IBM's later versions of Notes and Domino nonetheless succeeded admirably, eventually spawning Big Blue's range of collaboration software. But of late Notes has been a target, with Microsoft promoting Notes-to-Exchange migrations for both messaging and applications.
And of course the Notes vision lived on, as the application's developer, Ray Ozzie, was eventually appointed Bill Gates's sucessor as Microsoft's Chief Software architect.
IBM's revelation of the brand's demise emerged in this blog post by Ed Brill, IBM's director for social business and collaboration solutions.
Brill's post says the timing for the change of name was picked to co-incide with the announcement of betas for Notes 9.0. as “A version number increment is designed to do several things: create buzz in the market, including awareness from the industry press and analysts who might not pay attention to a 'mod' point release; convey vendor confidence in the product and its value; indicate longevity of the product; and signal the delta in new features and capabilities.”
Brill says the intent to demonstrate confidence “is why this beta is also the point where Notes/Domino will join other IBM software solutions in sporting only the IBM brand,” which he then points out is apparently --the second-most valuable brand in the world.
The Register has asked IBM if the Lotus brand will disappear entirely and is yet to receive a response, but a quick fossick around Big Blue's website reveals the company still maintains a web page dedicated to Lotus software, but sublimates the name 'Lotusphere' in promotion for the 'IBM Connect' event it will run in 2013.
IBM today (November 21st) let us know that the Lotus brand will survive.
A statement emitted by a nameless entity said "The updated branding of Notes and Domino is a continuation of our overall branding strategy across IBM to have IBM branded capabilities. IBM still has Lotus branded solutions in market today with no announced re-branding, including Lotus Expeditor, Lotus Symphony, and Lotus Quickr.” ®
* Who then worked for PC Week Australia, which had a front page to hold.
Die, Notes, die.
I've been administrating LN for 12 years now. I can categorically say, with authority and gusto, LN sucks donkey dicks. I realize some readers may interpret my evaluation as an endorsement.
Lotus Approach, 1-2-3, and Word Pro
I wish that these would be released, donated to Open Source, or at least a fork allowed.
Then, the current Symphony can be suspended and resurrected with year 2012/2013 endowments to them. Lotus Approach deserves a much better fate than being stuck in year 1995 code. It always astounds IBM how Approach users keep extending Approach in ways that Lotus did not envision. Lotus Script is able to enhance Approach so much more. But, so many things that LS can add to Approach could and should be baked intoo Approach, and all of the outstanding limitiations or previoously-raised gripes should be addressed, corrected, and modernized to compete with other vastly heavier programs that Approach can give a run for their money.
If IBM does this, then veteran and new devs can come back to those 3 apps and charge for support (but, not as ruthlessly as Lotus did in the 1990s), but offer the app for from free to $100, being donation or freeware to payware. If Approach were brought up to date, and given sliders on the repeating panels, endowed with more charts on the reports, and endowed with charts embeddable to forms, and updated crosstabs that could be embedded into forms and reports, I would pay $400 just for Approach. If fields could contain italicized text, and if Approach could spawn RTEs (run-time executables) or stand-alone executables, it would be fantastic. Then, stuff I have been doodling for 15 years can actually see the light of day, instead of being mere "what-if" personal projects basking in the oooh-ahh of my infatuation with Approach from the 93-ish year.
I know Alpha 5, Sesame, Omnis, Access, Calc, and even Filemaker exist. But, none of them are as comfortable and straightforward to me as Approach is.
IBM, how many times must end users wanting more keep begging?