A few weeks ago, an IBMer sent me a note with an interesting suggestion.  He reminded me that two years ago, I had a blog topic which received over 200 comments -- "If I could add ONE feature to Lotus Notes 7.x, it would be..."  The suggestion -- let's see how we did! (Remembering that we hadn't even announced Notes 8, or Notes 7.5, or "Hannover", or anything at that point)

It's an interesting thought.  If you listen to Mary Beth Raven's public talks, she indicates that the usability palette that went into building Notes 8 was sourced from many places.  That included reading blogs and other websites for criticisms and ideas.  So there have been a lot of eyes on that thread in the last 24 months.

Now that we're close to shipping Notes 8, we can tally up how many of those features actually made it into the product.  There were a number of comments in the original posting that weren't Notes end-user client features.  In hindsight, I should have clarified the main topic posting much sooner that I was looking for end-user features.  We ended up with about 50 end-user feature ideas (many were repeated multiple times, like multi-level undo and "a better UI").  Of those, about 45% are features that are indeed coming in Notes 8, and a couple more are on tap for Notes "next".  Pretty good hit rate, considering that you never get to 100% of anything in a mass-market product.

It's especially interesting to look at that thread in the context of some of the new features, like the RSS reader, that were barely on the drawing board at the time of that posting.  We also have shipped a native Linux client in the 7.0.x codestream.

I will make myself a note to run another such thread in six months -- users (and IT people) never run out of ideas for new features...

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