January 17 2006
Wow, what a surprise -- Microsoft has issued
a press release today about their plans for "plucking"
Lotus Notes/Domino customers. As anticipated earlier
this morning, it discusses
updated migration tools from Notes to Microsoft, and some specific wins
on Microsoft's part.
As to the tools, like I said earlier, Paul Mooney has already done a great job of making mincemeat of them. I'd encourage any customer who is approached by Microsoft or their partners to run the application analyzer, FUD doses and all, since it appears that it's pretty realistic about how difficult (i.e. expensive) it is to migrate Lotus Notes applications.
Update 1: Bill Buchan comments on the announcement.
Update 2: In the News.com story about today's announcement, Gartner's Matt Cain says,
Cain noted that Microsoft is not offering software to help businesses deal with the custom applications that many of them have created using Lotus.As to the customer wins, while I can't specifically comment on any of these by name, I know of a few of them. Interestingly, there are a half dozen mentioned that I've never seen as Notes customers -- not sure what criteria was used to establish including them in this release. Another few are still running (and managing, and paying for) Domino applications -- all they converted was their e-mail environment. Others still haven't converted a thing yet -- just have made a decision to do so. And yet others are small companies or divisions where they might have used Notes years ago, but haven't kept up. There are two that hurt -- poltical decisions that I and the Lotus team tried to reverse -- but for the most part, this list of customers isn't exactly a "sky is falling" moment.
"What's still missing is a tool or service that can migrate the Domino application logic," Cain said. "Domino still is an awesome rapid application development tool. There frankly is nothing (like it) on the market."
While I am obviously not ignorant of the market dynamics, whereby Microsoft and its bounty-seeking partners are constantly trying to convert Notes shops, the reality is that it's just not happening at the rate and pace that Microsoft wants to believe. Where it is happening, it's because decisions are being made on politics and emotion. And when the cost analysis is done in the rear-view mirror, it never looks like a good bet.