A highlight for me during Lotusphere 2009 was delivering INV102, the Notes/Domino strategy and roadmap presentation along with Brent Peters.  After many years of attending this session, I was actually delivering it!  We had almost 1000 people attend the session, maybe more as I heard it went to the overflow room.  One observation I had while presenting was that with my conscious effort to speak slowly enough for our international guests, I dropped some of my normal ad-lib humor from the delivery.  I need to go read those session evals to see what you thought.  Another observation I had is that since this session wasn't billed as a "mini-keynote", it wasn't clear to some of the attendees that it was intended to showcase our future direction and plans for Notes/Domino products.  A few people have commented to me that they were expecting us to show more futures in the opening general session.  The main reason was that we limited previews in the OGS to products that are announced and planned for specific shipping in the next few months...the mini-keynotes and breakouts were where you could see more of the abstract future plans.

Anyway, Brent and I delineated the content along the "what's shipping" vs. "what's coming" line.  I spent a bit too much time on the here and now, especially as we had lined up two demos for the session -- one of our planned ActiveSync support (shown via an Apple iPhone), and one of some of the federated tasks and contacts capabilities planned for the Notes client.  Brent did an excellent job of outlining our themes for future development, along the lines of "three I's" -- infrastructure, integration, and improvement.

I've had a few comments since the session that attendees were expecting us to announce a timetable for upcoming releases, but we did not.  The main reason for this is that Brent's development organization has adopted the "agile" development methodology.  Agile encourages the engineering organization to develop features on a more responsive, less structured timeline, and ship when ready.  That means some of the futures we showed at Lotusphere will ship in the next point release, currently called 8.5.1 and planned for mid-year 2009 shipment.  Others are not yet attached to a release structure.  There's a reference to "Notes 9" in the presentation, but at this moment, I'm not sure whether "Notes 9" is one big-bang release or a few smaller, more incremental releases.  We have to trade off consumability and testing types of concerns with the desire to lead the market and be innovative, adaptive, responsive all at the same time.  Heck, at this point I'm not sure we'll even call the next one "Notes 9" -- wait, let me be bolder, we will not call it Notes 9.  It just sounds tired.  (Domino is a different story...but for the end-user, I'd like to do something more innovative).

The slides for INV102 are now available from Slideshare.net.  This presentation has also been selected for most of the Lotusphere Comes to You events.  Of course, I'll be updating it regularly as we get closer to release (e.g. Alloy on March 3), beta, or plan for our future releases.

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