For the third or fourth time in recent memory, an IDG publication in Australia has run a story before the State-side publication.  I understand timezones and all that, but it seems like a reporter would want their work published in their "home" publication before syndication.  Anyway, let's focus on the content.

Nearly a decade ago, email was the killer app and vendors IBM/Lotus and Microsoft were locked in a battle to prove which was best at delivering messaging to a corporate world hungry for online communication.
The winner? Both.
While it would be nice to have even more of the market, IBM's #1 position, more eight years after Microsoft entered this market, is a pretty signfiicant accomplishment.  The conventional wisdom was that MS would steamroll over Lotus, just as they had with Excel vs. 1-2-3 and as they had with so many other competitors.  It didn't happen -- and you could make the assertion that with a mature market, it never will.
Experts say IBM is balancing a nervous user base that thinks Notes/Domino will eventually go away even though the company is preaching an integration approach and plans to ship Version 7.0 next year and follow it up with Versions 7.5 and 8.0, which would push support for the platform into 2009....
"The point is that Workplace is an additive model," vice-president for Lotus Workplace products, Ken Bisconti, said. "We are adding a new data store option, but we are not taking away the [Domino Notes Storage Format] store. We're not taking away the traditional application framework but adding a broader Eclipse programming model."
I was on the phone with Ken during this interview.  For me, a lightbulb went on with Ken's explanation.  With the Notes "8" client, Notes truly will move beyond its matched-pair client/server roots.  Notes will be able to connect not just to Domino applications, but to Workplace applications, Portals, and Web Services (through protocols like WSRP).  Notes will evolve to be a single front-end (Andrew says "universal") for all types of applications -- including collaborative and productivity apps.  As has been a consistent theme with Notes/Domino, this is all about leveraging existing infrastructure investments, and extending them in a way that adds significant value.
Microsoft's messaging road map is foggy at best. The follow-on to last year's release of Exchange 2003, which was previously called Kodiak and was to introduce a new SQL Server-based data store, is off the road map for now, according to Microsoft officials. Also gone is a security option called Exchange Edge Services that was slated to ship next year but is now in limbo.
Gone? Wow. Where are all those Software Assurance dollars going?
Microsoft's lack of a product road map might be tied to a lack of understanding of end-user needs, Gartner's Austin said. "Microsoft is still at the bits and bytes level and still worried about adding new features and new architectural integrity," Austin said. "They haven't figured out how all this fits into either empowering end users, which has fallen off the radar screen for Microsoft, or how it fits into solving real business problems." ...
"It is a different battle with a different set of leverage points and a space with a lot of other competitors," said Ed Brill, a longtime Lotus employee and business unit executive for worldwide sales at IBM/Lotus. "It does have echoes of the past, but it doesn't have the same urgency, which is not to say we are not putting in a lot of effort."
Then Brill, a veteran of the battle with Microsoft, fires off another round.  
"Maybe that's why Microsoft has been able to move away from Exchange as a platform for collaboration," he said.
Link: Messaging Wars: Lotus, Microsoft move on >

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