As anyone in the Lotus community knows, the week before Lotusphere is often one of a bit of market tactics.  We start to talk about what we're going to talk about Lotusphere...Microsoft tries to steal the show.

The game is being played a little differently this week.  In fact, with all the fun of trying to guess what Microsoft's spoiler would be, it seems we missed this year's attempt.  On Tuesday, Microsoft started talking about Exchange "14".  The main message -- "ha ha, all those Live@EDU users have actually been using an alpha of the next Exchange!"  The secondary message -- "it's taking us years to build a new version of Exchange that actually works" (the boast of "years" appears in both links).  Phillip Story calls it:

Microsoft's spoiler is that they've shipped some alpha software for the Office 14 suite to "select customers".

Part of me hopes that this isn't all they have as a spoiler.  Because if it is, it's... well...Lame.

So lame I can't even bring myself to make the obvious "how can anyone tell it's an alpha?" style jokes.
Meanwhile, about 30 minutes ago, IBM Lotus issued a "momentum" press release that comes out swinging:
In advance of its annual Lotusphere conference in Orlando, Florida next week, IBM today announced that the number of global Lotus Notes licenses has reached 145 million, up five million, including purchases by many industry leaders exchanging Microsoft licenses for Lotus collaboration software.

Over the past 15 months ending in the third quarter of 2008, more than 12,000 new organizations bought their first Notes/Domino licenses, and more than half of the Fortune global 100 now use Lotus Notes and Domino. ...

A number of customers that Microsoft had previously announced would migrate to Exchange are now stalling or abandoning those plans. These organizations recognize the higher cost of potential migration to the competing product and the benefits of deploying Notes/Domino 8 through 8.5 versions. In some cases, the cost of upgrading Notes/Domino has shown to be 20 percent or less of what companies were projecting for migration costs to Exchange.  ...

In recent engagements, IBM has been helping customers improve their messaging economics through enhancements in performance and scalability, "green" initiatives, and the optional ability for IBM to provide off-premise solutions through software as a service (SaaS) and cloud services. In one recent customer engagement, IBM's assessment of existing messaging economics is helping reduce a company's operational costs by 23 percent over 12 months. The customer projects an additional $27 million in savings with the use of Lotus Symphony instead of Microsoft Office.
In reading the release, you might flash back to the July 31, 2008 announcement, similar in tone and tenor.  There's a lot of names, named, again, including a few that will be formally announced on Monday at Lotusphere.

There's a very distinct impression created by the contrast in these two of plodding ahead quietly and one of winning in the market.  Are we getting to that noise level you've been asking for?

Link: Global Businesses Choosing Lotus Software; More Than Half of Fortune Global 100 Now Using Lotus Notes / Domino >
Also picked up in Computerworld (thanks, Duffbert)

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