Those wacky Microsoft salespeople are at it again, taking a regular play out of their playbook for recycling as they try to close those last "Notes Compete wins" in order to stay employed.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, so twice today, I've been asked to "prove" that 8.x is not the last release of Notes/Domino.

It amazes me that a company that goes 3-4 years between major releases ever tries to use this technique.  We've shipped major releases of Notes/Domino on a 12-24 month cycle going all the way back to 2002.  Since Notes 6, Microsoft has managed to eke out two releases of Office, Exchange, and SharePoint.  Those software assurance dollars have been essentially thrown away, especially as it pertains to the Windows operating system.  Still, in a "do as I say, not as I do" measure, the FUD spins up to high cycle at this time of year, and they will throw out any old tired technique.

It's really getting old, guys.

In my current Notes/Domino strategy presentation, we talk about a next major release, likely to be called "Notes/Domino 9".  It's only in quotes because it's not a formal announcement.  We've been busy building 8.5.1, and haven't wanted to lose sight of that.  But remember how we announced "Hannover" before we had shipped Notes/Domino 7?  I assure you we will be talking about the next major release of Notes/Domino in detail well before we ship 8.5.2.  The hundreds of people building Notes/Domino today are on a mission, and that mission is going to run for a long time to come.  Heck, at 20 years old in December, we're just getting started!

Microsoft might be willing to say whatever it takes to get things done right now because so many of the things they've said before are failing right now.  At Gartner's recent portal and collaboration conference, analyst Matt Cain's presentation on e-mail even highlighted the Lotus Notes client as a model for the future of e-mail.  That's gotta sting in Outlook-land.  Wish I could quote the presentation directly, but I'm sure someone who was there will chime in with Cain's exact quote.  Another good example is the recent bankruptcy filing of one of their case study references for migration to Exchange Online, Eddie Bauer.  Guess that whole migration-in-a-weekend thing didn't help much.

Meanwhile, I'm hearing that my own sales team is closing deals with customers who had made decisions to migrate to Microsoft and have decided to rethink that.  One of these days, I'm going to get someone on record as saying "our migration to Exchange cost way more than we thought, and we are still running Notes years later".  You know who you are.

I would encourage anyone who is hearing this kind of FUD in their organizations to outreach to me or anyone in their IBM sales team.  I'd love nothing more than to make that "trusted" Microsoft salesperson just another hustler trying to close a deal.  It has certainly happened before.

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