I'm on a flight right now, and the passenger across the aisle has caught my eye.  No, it's not her sparkly jewelry, but rather the software running on her Dell laptop.  She's using the attractive Lotus Notes 8.5 -- but with the less-attractive Notes 7 mail template.

This is far from the first time I have seen this combination.  When we were first working on building Notes 8, eager beta testers tried out the "Hanover" release at any cost.  As companies adopted Notes 8, some chose to deploy new clients ahead of server upgrades.  But at this point in the 8.x cycle, almost three years since the version's initial release, I am hard-pressed to come up with good reasons for why an admin would have users running the latest client without the latest template.

I have spent the flight resisting the urge to reach across the aisle and chose file | application | replace design (the other passenger between us obviously would not approve, but then again he looks like an Outlook 2003 kind of guy).  I know she would be so much happier, and would tell all her friends back in the office that Notes doesn't have to be as ugly.

So, dear administrator readers, tell me why this combination is out there?  I assume most valid answers will be related to running Domino 7 servers.  But with 8.5.1 having shipped months ago, in most cases having exactly the same hardware/OS requirements as Domino 7, why not upgrade those servers?  I know everything has a cost and a priority, but I would like to know more about the tradeoffs that lead to this sort of halfway-there upgrade this user is squinting at.

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