Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Ed Brill: It was 20 years ago today...

Ed Brill: It was 20 years ago today...: "The last few years have seen the maturing of that market, though impressively, there are still thousands of companies installing their first Domino servers this year. Ray and the other Iris founders have moved on to other inventions and innovations. Still, despite what seems like almost annual pronouncements of its death, Notes not only lives on -- but with the seventh version now in beta, and concrete evolution plans for the future, it seems certain that Notes will remain a key part of the corporate software landscape -- perhaps for the next 15 or 20 years."

More Lotus Notes anniversary insights. A few minor issues, though, Ed:
1. Lotus 1-2-3 circa 1990 was broken in many ways, but it was reasonable to build for OS/2 before Windows, given the state of the market at that time; the success of Windows 3.0 took the market by surprise, and it's important to remember that Microsoft didn't go from OS/2 co-creator/advocate to OS/2 competitor until rather late in the game. If Lotus had ported the OS/2 version of 1-2-3 to Windows, rather than compromising and doing a Frankenstein-ish hybrid DOS/Windows release for the first release of 1-2-3 for Windows, it could have been a very different story. 1-2-3 for OS/2 was a great product that later served as the engine for Improv as well, but Lotus quite reasonably didn't continue investing in it as OS/2 failed.
2. Lotus can't be faulted for the timing of AT&T Network Notes -- few could have predicted, during the early 1990s, that the commercial market would instead gleefully adopt early Internet-based alternatives that offered relatively limited security and features. Indeed, one could argue that the advent of the read-mostly commercial Web was in many respects a multi-year set-back for collaborative applications.
3. Internet influences appeared in Notes long before R5 -- which wasn't, for the record, a Ray Ozzie-led release. The Dennis Leary ads were pretty cool, however...

Anyways, thanks for sharing your insights and experiences, as always, and best wishes for the next decade or two with Lotus Notes.
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