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Can IBM Take On Google, Microsoft With iNotes?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the better-late-than-never-i-guess dept.

IBM 171

CWmike writes to mention that IBM has launched LotusLive iNotes, a system designed to compete with GMail and Exchange that offers email, calendaring, and contact management. "Pricing starts at $3 per user per month, undercutting Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 per user per year. IBM is aiming the software at large enterprises that want to migrate an on-premise e-mail system to SaaS (software as a service), particularly for users who aren't tied to a desk, such as retail workers. It is also hoping to win business from smaller companies interested in on-demand software but with concerns about security and service outages, such as those suffered by Gmail in recent months. LotusLive iNotes is based on technology IBM purchased from the Hong Kong company Outblaze."

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If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (5, Insightful)

3waygeek (58990) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620329)

Lotus Notes, no way in hell will it succeed. Lotus Notes was pure crap, and I say that as an ex-Lotus employee.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (4, Interesting)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620375)

Lotus Notes takes a very interesting approach to generic databases. I laud Lotus for their design philosophy and I know IBM has put a lot of work into it, but the implementation of Lotus Notes leaves a lot to be desired. Making all documents generic databases wasn't a bad idea.

This iNotes seems to be a subset of Lotus Notes functionality based on an all-new codebase. Probably a good thing.

Can IBM take on... oh, Lotus. No, it can't. (1)

Jim Efaw (3484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620915)

As soon as I saw the topic "Can IBM Take On Google, Microsoft With iNotes?", my first thought was: Is 'i' the new IBM euphemism for Lotus? Because, if it is, we don't need to go any further.

IBM can't take on Google and Microsoft with anything based on traditional Lotus Notes, because Lotus Notes is the only software worse than Microsoft Exchange Server, and the reason Google's enterprise services exist and are popular is specifically that it frees people from Lotus Notes and Exchange. If iNotes is anything at all like Lotus Notes' architecture, it's a failure waiting to happen — because a Lotus Notes that was hosted "in the cloud", with IBM techs who can't get it to stop stalling and trashing its databases, wouldn't be any better than Lotus Notes in your main business office with IBM techs who can't get it to stop thrashing and stalling its databases. In fact, maybe Lotus Notes in your main office might be better, because then you'll have access to yank the hard drive and write a few nice Perl scripts to convert it all to a real system when your bosses finally learn to cut their million-dollar losses and throw IBM out. As for the IBM employee saying IBM runs "the world's mission-critical systems" — if they're on Lotus Notes, they must not be that critical, since they're unavailable so often.

Re:Can IBM take on... oh, Lotus. No, it can't. (1)

ViViDboarder (1473973) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621779)

iNotes is Webmail. It's a web interface to the mailservers.

Gmail gives web access to Mail, Calendar, etc. and then you can access it with a client compatable with MS Exchange. What Gmail is to MS Exchange is what iNotes is to Lotus. It's a web interface for a lotus system.

Gmail:Exchange::iNotes:Lotus? (2, Insightful)

Jim Efaw (3484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621883)

What Gmail is to MS Exchange is what iNotes is to Lotus. It's a web interface for a lotus system.

Except that Gmail doesn't have the baggage of being associated with Microsoft or Lotus, and a name like "LotusLive iNotes" does. Even though they based it on Outblaze, if they put any Lotus back-end architecture into it since then, there's a good chance at it being a rolling failure waiting to happen. The luckiest thing that could happen to a LotusLive iNotes user is that it turns out the programmers have still kept it far away from any code from any other Lotus product whatsoever.

It's also racist (4, Informative)

Beek Dog (610072) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621691)

When I type webapp, Lotus Notes spell check suggests I change it to wetback. Ver 6.5. I wish I was joking. On further investigation, the 'big one' isn't in the dictionary, but gook is. Wow. Just wow.

How about when you have a message selected (but not opened) and try to export it? Starts exporting the entire mailbox with no cancel.

I offer this poll, Why does Notes suck so much?
*Search don't search
*Sort don't sort
*Cut and Paste from a webpage means grab some coffee
*UI stands for User Interference
*Blazing Speed
*Hit Yes to send with comments, No to send without comments, and cancel to bring you back to this same dialog
*Contextual nonsense
*Reply All to "undisclosed recipients" discloses the undisclosed recipients

I could go on for days, but I just copied this text into Notes to try to spell check it. Time for coffee.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620445)

Lotus Notes, no way in hell will it succeed. Lotus Notes was pure crap, and I say that as an ex-Lotus employee.

I second that, as a current IBM contractor (hence my anonymous cowardness) that's been inflicted with this sorry excuse of a mail system. How is it that IBM has the ONLY big name e-mail system that can't reliably deliver e-mail? Frankly, all their software is crap because IBM is all about getting it out in time for the quarterlies, regardless of quality. I'm really getting tired of shipping off untested software to customers.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620707)

they don't reliably deliver mail.

They're the only ones who deliver IBM brand DRM in the form of onerous document control/locking/deletion. This is why enterprise likes it.

Meanwhile, it's a turd of a program and our workplace is thankfully moving to allow Thunderbird soon.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

Cyner (267154) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620457)

Lotus was remakably innovative... 20 year ago. And then they stopped innovating. Heck they stopped stealing others good ideas even.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (5, Informative)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620475)

>> Lotus Notes was pure crap, and I say that as an ex-Lotus employee.

Actually, Lotus Notes is pure crap. I say that as a current Lotus Notes user. It's a reason unto itself to find a new employer.

Two simple examples:
  - we just "upgraded" to v8.5. It takes 127 seconds to start up. It takes 38 seconds more to show me my inbox. It takes 47 seconds to bring up the editor to reply to the first mail of the day. This is all on a fairly new Dell D630 laptop.

  - Sort by subject: "Hello world" does not get sorted with "Re: Hello World", nor with "Fw: Hello World". All your "Re:"s and "Fw:"s get sorted together.

There are many more.

MadCow.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (5, Funny)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620739)

At least it has rock-solid stability and a highly intuitive user interface going for it. For example, if I just tab over to Notes and hit Shift-CTRL-F9, it will automati

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621573)

OK, I just tried that and nothing happened...

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621697)

I did it from the Mail application and it launched a modal progress window saying:

"Updating View 1 of 94...
Updating all views in the application..."

And 90 seconds of grinding later, it was done.
D:

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (2, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620771)

Lotus 123 is pure crap, too. Long ago, before IBM got hold of it, it was a good, arguably the best, spreadsheet. But last year I started getting Lotus spreadsheets, so I had them get me a copy (I have to use Quattro and Excel as well). The damned peogram loaded a ton of crap, and had the ton of crap loaded on startup, even though I only use the spreadsheet portion and then only once every few months.

I had to do a lot of googling to find out how to make the crap stop starting at startup. It wanted to become a shell for Windows! A shell for a shell, what an amusing concept.

My mouse's scroll wheel doesn't even work in the damned thing. Of the three spreadsheets I have the extreme mispleasure of using, I hate Lotus' the most. Damn but I look forward to retirement!

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (4, Informative)

tjwhaynes (114792) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620773)

Two simple examples: - we just "upgraded" to v8.5. It takes 127 seconds to start up. It takes 38 seconds more to show me my inbox. It takes 47 seconds to bring up the editor to reply to the first mail of the day. This is all on a fairly new Dell D630 laptop.

You're kidding me, right? Or you're making up numbers. Or you are running the Windows version amid the antivirus scans...

Linux box, Fedora 11, T60p, 5400rpm drive - hardly a world beater laptop these days. Times are all intervals.

  • Time to password screen - 3 seconds
  • Time to interactivity with the welcome screen (the one that displays all the mail, calendar and to-dos) - 10 seconds
  • Time to display Mail window after clicking mail tab - 2 seconds
  • Time to show contents of the top mail message - 1 second.

Release 8.5 Revision 20081211.1925 (Release 8.5) Standard Configuration

So either you've got the CPU clocked down or something is eating your cycles. I hardly hold Lotus Notes in high regard but its improved performance significantly in recent releases.

Cheers,
Toby Haynes

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620977)

Well, maybe my corporate IT dept. has borked their standard image, but those are real timed numbers. After all, I have little else I can do with my computer while waiting. :)

Nothing else running, fresh boot (after waiting for all other startup crap to finish). Windows XP professional, 2GB RAM, etc., etc.

Our older version wasn't great (no sort-on-subject at all), but easily 3x faster.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (2, Insightful)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621375)

It may be crap, but that doesn't imply that it's not going to succeed. As the ex-Lotus employee can probably attest, software development in IBM rarely involves making products faster or more stable. It's all about features, and making sure that your product has more feature-list checkboxes checked than the other guys. "Starts in under 127 seconds" is not a sell-able feature. The only thing the PHBs buying this stuff see is that iNotes has 100 features, and product X only has 75. The only time performance or stability is really ever considered is when customers start complaining that they're going to drop the IBM product. And by then, the product is so bloated that improving performance to any significant degree is virtually impossible.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621429)

I second, third, or whatever this as a former IBM employee who switched companies largely to get away from Notes. I'll never forget the look on my 3rd-line manager's face when he realized that after filing away copies of all his e-mails in folders, and then deleting them from the main inbox, that the messages were all irretrievably lost.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (3, Informative)

TheHappyMailAdmin (913609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621935)

That's another good example of why you need training, but it's not a problem with Notes. Google uses labels the same way Notes uses Folders and so you can make the exact same mistake there. You just don't see as many people hating on GMail because a) it's free and b) their employer didn't tell them to use it (though both of those are syarting to change).

There's nothing wrong with the approach with views and tags, just something with the not educating your staff in how to safely save their messages.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621585)

>> ... we just "upgraded" to v8.5. It takes 127 seconds to start up. It takes 38 seconds more to show me my inbox. It takes 47 seconds to bring up the editor to reply to the first mail of the day. This is all on a fairly new Dell D630 laptop.

  - Sort by subject: "Hello world" does not get sorted with "Re: Hello World", nor with "Fw: Hello World". All your "Re:"s and "Fw:"s get sorted together.

There are many more.

MadCow.

This version should have a Basic Mode Client included... It's worth checking out as it starts up in under a second for me.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620603)

I keep an XP virtual machine solely for Lotus Notes. When I turn on my computer, It takes less time to resume the VM than it does to start up Lotus Notes fresh. Also, when Lotus Notes crashes (which we know it *never* does) I don't have to restart my computer to coax it into working again.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620729)

You can restart a crashed lotus notes without restarting your computer. You just need ZapNotes.

http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/sandbox.nsf/0/8aa14311cb0c51c388256aa400804e4e

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621371)

I don't know about anything past Lotus Notes 6.5x, but up 'til then you could open a command prompt and "nsd.exe -kill" from the Lotus Notes install directory if you had a single user install ("Only install for me" during installation), or from your Notes data directory if you are using a multi-user installation (you would do something like "C:\Program Files\Lotus\Notes\NSD.EXE -kill" from a command prompt while in your personal Notes data directory). This will kill all Notes processes and allow you to restart Notes (on the rare occasion that you couldn't restart it without first running NSD.EXE). You have to run NSD.EXE from wherever the active notes.ini was located. No need for ZapNotes.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (3, Insightful)

rs79 (71822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620687)

Google brings out Wave and IBM clones Gmail?

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (2, Funny)

karlssberg (1025898) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621083)

Talk about flogging a dead horse. Email is dead, long live the Wave!!!

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (4, Informative)

jimpop (27817) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620903)

Lotus Notes and Lotus iNotes are 2 different client products that both use the same backend Domino services. LotusLive iNotes is neither Lotus Notes nor Lotus iNotes. LotusLive iNotes is based on the OutBlaze product built on top of MySQL and Linux and does not use the Domino backend.

LotusLive iNotes screenshot: https://www.lotuslive.com/en/services/inotes [lotuslive.com]
Lotus iNotes screenshot: http://www.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/inotes [ibm.com]

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620983)

IANALe

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621201)

OMG - I remember running Lotus Notes on OS/2 as a Compaq Partner because that's how they communicated with us all at the time.

Everything synced through a V.32bis modem with sometimes literally hours of waiting when new floppy images or a new schema was released!

At the time we all shrugged our shoulders and enthusiastically 'dug into' the Notes way of doing things because we held some rose-tinted view that it represented 'the future' in terms of group-wide communication, even though it was a right pain in the ass to do anything creative with it.

Now I look back and wonder WTF we were thinking.

Oh, and hey guys, sticking an 'i' in front of your product name in the forlorn hope of making it sound sexy is the height of crass marketing and aint gonna work.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621333)

Oh yeah...just grab yourself a Linux server and install OpenGoo...

http://www.opengoo.org/ [opengoo.org]

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

TekJannsen (1001150) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621243)

As a current Notes user, now I know who to blame =)

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

henrik.falk (912694) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621659)

I've been quite happy with Lotus Note since version 8.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621743)

What has always amazed me is that even security-conscious, Microsoft-hating geeks sing praises to Outlook after using Lotus Notes.

Can it be really *that* bad? I hope I never find out.

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621745)

Why is Lotus Notes so terrible? I work for a major worldwide insurance provider (never involved in any of the recent scandals and bailouts, you can figure it out) and we use the Lotus Notes / Sametime suite for our communication. It's complete garbage! I only restart my PC on Friday nights to log-in fresh on Monday morning because my Lotus Notes takes upwards of 18-20 minutes get up and running on a fresh boot. I kid you not. The worst part, is it only fucks up about 10 percent of the users in my department, so we look like slackers bright and early every Monday morning. Since out supervisors are technologically inept, they don't understand why you have to stare at the splash screen for all that time (as it racks your hard drive for a reason I don't understand).

I just never understood why the Lotus package is so woefully shitty. It doesn't seem as if the technology is so complicated, be it Notes or Sametime. For Christ sake, Outlook is a gem compared to Notes, and ICQ has been doing what Sametime does for over a decade, only much better.

Lotus Notes was pure crap, and I say that as an ex-Lotus employee.

As an ex-Lotus employee, what the hell did you guys do for all these years?

Re:If LotusLive iNotes is in any way based on (1)

BigSes (1623417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621817)

Oh, I forgot to mention our IT department consists of 2 (TWO) Seimens contracted employees (to service an entire worksite of 500+ employees, consisting mostly luddite grandmothers over 55) who throw parts at a machine for a hardware problem, and attempt to do the obvious driver & reinstall fixes when you have to have them work on a software issue at your workstation. The choice to call IT for service is moot. We're still using IE6 (due to propriety software designed to work within the IE6 environment), to give you an idea of how amazing the pissy setup actually is. I could work faster using pulse-dialed phone calls and papyrus on most days.

Dead ni99er storage (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620339)

The cloud has revolutionized dead nigger storage in many ways.
Now instead of driving around looking for the sign, you can just start a garage instance on the cloud and upload your dead niggers.

SaaS? Try SoaS! (4, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620345)

Lotus Notes is closer to Shit on a Shingle than it is a service.

-Rick

Re:SaaS? Try SoaS! (1)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620425)

i have a "shit on shingle" web service for you to try, it is closer to a web service than a service, but its cheaper than Google's equivalent product and has a 98.9% positive discovery rate for any type of shit on any type of shingle... $30/month/user... interested?

Re:SaaS? Try SoaS! (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620551)

Have you ever tried to find information on any of IBMs websites? They seem to be unavailable frequently, and when they're up, they're very difficult to find information on. They seem unfamiliar with the concept of a link. Most of their content seems to be generated from print versions of documents. I like the competition, but I think pretty much anyone else could do a better job.

Re:SaaS? Try SoaS! (1)

OverZealous.com (721745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621633)

To help define the quality product that is Lotus Notes, my wife had cancer, and decided to name her tumor "Lotus Notes". (She does not work in IT.) She even has shirts and a baseball cap her family had made for her that have the words "Lotus Notes" in a circle with a big slash through them. She wore the shirts to many of the chemo treatments.

And she still occasionally wears them to work.

(She recovered, and is doing fine, if you care.)

Costs Less, But... (3, Informative)

rshol (746340) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620413)

For $36/head you get 1gig of data storage vs. Google at $50/head gets you 25gig of storage. I have no idea how Notes has survived as long as it has. Crap hardly begins to either the notes client or server.

Re:Costs Less, But... (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620847)

Or your usage of verbs... ;)

Re:Costs Less, But... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620857)

For $36/head you get 1gig of data storage vs. Google at $50/head gets you 25gig of storage. I have no idea how Notes has survived as long as it has. Crap hardly begins to either the notes client or server.

Plus you don't get Docs, Sites, Video, Moderator, and -coming soon- Groups and Wave.

Google Apps Premier isn't just email and calendaring, it is a suite of several productivity applications with more added all the time. Yeah, iNotes looks like pure fail to me.

It's about Local Control (3, Interesting)

Arainach (906420) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620419)

This will not take over the role of Exchange for the same reason Google won't take over the role of Exchance - for a lot of companies, having local control of their data and communications is key. Storing confidential data in the "cloud" (how I hate that term) is a security and privacy risk and a potential source of liability. Thanks to this, there will always be a demand for locally-run and locally-administered mail servers, and nothing really competes with Exchange in that realm.

Re:It's about Local Control (3, Insightful)

trevorrowe (689310) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620483)

Storing confidential data in the "cloud" (how I hate that term) is a ...

Lots of users say they hate using the term "the cloud", but they continue to use it anyway. Why not just say "other peoples servers"?

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620827)

Lots of users say they hate using the term "the cloud", but they continue to use it anyway. Why not just say "other peoples servers"?

Ignorance and laziness. People say "the cloud" because 1) they don't have a clue what it is, except that it's a buzzword that people think you're smart if you use and 2) "the cloud" has two syllables while "other peoples servers" has six. Maybe we should start a new acronym -- OPS?

"What's 'OPS'?"

Nobody is going to ask this, any more than they asked what the cloud was; they're afraid of being thought of as stupid.

OPS for the world!

Re:It's about Local Control (2, Funny)

trevorrowe (689310) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620911)

I'm down with OPS. Yah, you know me.

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621443)

And most people actually have no idea what the cloud is, including half the people who use the term.

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620535)

While you're somewhat correct, I don't think your prediction will pan out. I think the cloud will win eventually due to factors such as:

1) Cost. This drives all sorts of non-logical decisions every day.

2) Availability. An increasingly-mobile work force is really going to want this. While there are solutions (Blackberry), they don't often keep pace with trends (iPhone) whereas an online application could be far more mobile.

3) Security. If/when your internal servers are breached, your rear-end is on the line. Likewise when an external server is compromised you get to refer to your contract. Eventually offerings will arise with some level of insurance and/or promises that obviate the gains of maintaining the internal servers. As the industry matures, more and more execs will realize that at the end of the day security issues are only a matter of time, whether within the cloud or behind a secure perimeter.

Re:It's about Local Control (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620563)

Since you can get Google on premise now, as well as this I would say your argument is worthless

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

snadrus (930168) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620673)

Agreed. One of the strong points it shares with google is easy conversion to on-premise.

Re:It's about Local Control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620997)

Since you can get Google on premise now, as well as this I would say your argument is worthless

So as a Google Apps customer I have to respond to this with a "Huh?"

What do you mean you can get it on Premise?

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620837)

This will not take over the role of Exchange ...

Perhaps not, but that's not to say Exchange is without problems of its own.

The infamous case of lost Whitehouse emails during the term of GWB, for example, occurred after the IT folks successfully transitioned from Notes to Exchange. During the subcommittee hearings on the foulups (and continuing problems resurrecting the lost emails), the head of IT authoritatively pronounced Notes as "obsolete technology" when asked about the reason for the transition. The senators nodded approvingly.

Granted, Exchange has a bullet-list of features that exceeds most other solutions, but for those who are responsible for making things work, and fixing them when things fall apart (not uncommon), it's the implementation that matters.

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

segedunum (883035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621061)

Actually, the reason it won't is Active Directory. You have the same authentication internally for your e-mail as you do for all the other systems you authenticate against AD for, not to mention the Exchange integration for e-mail that many internal systems have. That's tough to break.

The only way it will work is if you could give companies the advantages of not having to manage and run hardware for internal e-mail systems (a catch-all basically) whilst giving them a managed appliance they don't have to worry about internally to allay their fears about data security and providing internal integration.

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621433)

Microsoft Exchange doesn't hold a candle to Lotus Domino, but the two products are kinda like apples and oranges. Exchange is primarily an email server and Domino is a much more advanced groupware/database server with an email component. Microsoft doesn't make a single-product solution that has the same functionality as Domino. They will license you a suite of server products that can replace Domino, though.

Re:It's about Local Control (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621459)

Lots of Lotus-using companies already pay IBM for off-site management of their data. I would view this as more of a stopgap measure to keep their current user base from fleeing to the competition.

Reminds me of a certain Redmond Company... (4, Interesting)

jkyrlach (1076609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620435)

Lotus Notes makes it clear where MS got their evil genes from. Because Lotus notes was released as both email client and MS Access equivalent, companies that adopteded it have found themselves hopelessly locked in. In the spirit of "getting things done" my company has allowed its users to create thousands of apps in our Notes system, making it impossible to ever switch to anything else. IBM has nice reliable income, and employees everywhere suffer.

Re:Reminds me of a certain Redmond Company... (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621329)

Notes was just one in a long line of supposed Wndows "killers". You were supposed to make apps in Notes and ignore Windows.

Re:Reminds me of a certain Redmond Company... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621543)

That is also the appeal for Notes. It was never a good e-mail system, but it's applications were dead easy to create, they were all mail enabled by default. It's a bit like crack with it's simplicity. If anything it does have a nice development environment for collaborative type apps. Even someone moderately skilled could create just about any app you could imagine.

Unfortunately it doesn't scale well at all, has corruption problems, performance issues, and is generally a pain in the ass to maintain.

as a former lotus notes user... (1)

0110011001110101 (881374) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620463)

as a former lotus notes user... no thanks, i'll keep gmail.

you can improve all you want, but I'll take occassional outages from google if it means being able to easily figure out the interface when it is up.

IBM might claim 100% uptime but if I have to spend 150% more time figuring out their wacked out interface and shite product, i'd rather take my chances with google.

Will iNotes win? (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620471)

Can IBM Take On Google, Microsoft With iNotes?

No, because they branded it Lotus, thereby invoking a ton of dreadful baggage. If they'd called it some else, they might have had a chance.

P.S. Why is Slashdot slower than an old age pensioner snail crawling up a cliff covered in wet tar today? And why did Slashdot totally ignore the Google outage a week or so back?

P.P.S. From the article:

It's unlikely that IBM's pricing strategy will cause competitors to lower fees for their offerings, according to Cain. For one thing, Microsoft already has a $2 per month Exchange Online option called "Deskless Worker," Cain noted.

Re:Will iNotes win? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620713)

It's unlikely that IBM's pricing strategy will cause competitors to lower fees for their offerings, according to Cain. For one thing, Microsoft already has a $2 per month Exchange Online option called "Deskless Worker," Cain noted.

Referring back to the "Diskless Workstation", I can already see what this is going to get nicknamed as...

Lotus Notes and Outlook are just imap clients (1)

tdwebste (747947) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620481)

Lotuslive is an integrated online messaging service supplied through IBM purchased Outblaze
http://www.outblaze.com/index.php/corporate/ [outblaze.com]

Lotus Notes and Microsoft are one of many SMTP/ IMAP clients supported.

Haha, Have you ever used lotus notes? (2, Interesting)

EZ Erik (855609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620491)

My company is an IBM partner, and for political reasons we try to use lotus notes, or like we call it lotus jokes. The thing is the most un-user friendly piece of software I have ever used. Email addresses are stored like directory structures that make no sense. The calendar does not integrate with other meeting requests I get. The list goes on and on. Could be just how my company implemented it but man it sucks to use. Its not even close to google apps like gmail. or outlook and exchange, feels about 10 years behind its competitors.

Oooh! I Have a Slogan For Them! (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620503)

"All the stability of a Microsoft Product, All the User Friendliness of Lotus Notes!"

I'm sure it'll be an instant hit!

Re:Oooh! I Have a Slogan For Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620637)

I can't remember the last time an instance of Office crashed on me.

Re:Oooh! I Have a Slogan For Them! (1)

jargon82 (996613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620703)

"All the stability of a Microsoft Product" would be a blessing for a Lotus-branded product, and on top of that Lotus is usually still loading before Outlook even has a chance to crash 3 months later.

Re:Oooh! I Have a Slogan For Them! (1)

rcolbert (1631881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620889)

"All the stability of a Microsoft Product, All the User Friendliness of Lotus Notes!"

I'm sure it'll be an instant hit!

Linus Torvalds and Marc Andreeson would both take offense on behalf of Microsoft for the insult of being put on the same level as Lotus products.

So what's with the iCopy Apple? (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620587)

n/t

Re:So what's with the iCopy Apple? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621155)

And Microsoft's "Live" moniker.

It's as if someone picked Apple + MS + IBM brands and baked them together.

MAXIMUM RECOGNITION FOR A NEW SERVICE, yeee-haw!

Bwahahhahahahahah (4, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620591)

. . .hah haha hah hah.

Oh that was good.

Lotus Notes, iNotes, and all over it's incarnations is the most convoluted and insane system I've ever used (and this is after 4 years of admining a 400+ user Lotus Domino server). I've often heard the joke that Emacs would be a great OS if only it included a decent text editor. I've never felt it applied since I actually like emacs for text editing, but boy does the same type of line apply to Notes: it'd be a great OS if only it included a decent email client.

Re:Bwahahhahahahahah (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620649)

I've never felt it applied since I actually like emacs for text editing, but boy does the same type of line apply to Notes: it'd be a great OS if only it included a decent email client.

That'd be like what, Windows ME with a decent email client?

Re:Bwahahhahahahahah (2, Funny)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620743)

I can't help but have this image of you at work, hair a mess with several days worth of beard growth, wearing a bathrobe and bunny slippers, walking around with a coffee cup with god knows what in it, and answering technical questions with Shakespearean quotes. They won't fire you because they can't find anyone else and they're not sure if you have a WMD planted somewhere in the city.

Re:Bwahahhahahahahah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620937)

Actually it would be an awful OS even if it included a decent mail client.

I will stick with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620623)

This is another clusterf**k coming from India. IBM has done nothing but go downhill.

Outages (1)

immakiku (777365) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620631)

with concerns about security and service outages, such as those suffered by Gmail in recent months

They better be able to offer guarantees stronger than Google's. I'm not sure what Gmail's Premier outage guarantees are, but for a new-comer to offer better would be surprising.

Also, $36 vs $50. $14 a year difference hardly justifies any potential UI frustration or maturity of product problems this may have.

Re:Outages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621105)

As a Google Apps Premier customer I can tell you they "guarantee" not a damn thing. Actually, not only do they not guarantee anything but their account reps essentially tell you to piss off when you complain about outages. That is my biggest complaint as a Google Apps customer.. Paying Google for their service gives you no upgrade at all in customer service. You are treated exactly as if you were using a free GMail account. Zero accountability from Google. They are getting a bit too comfortable with resting on the fact that "Hey, we're Google!"

That said, aside from the outages Google Apps is a fantastic product. We migrated from Exchange 2003/2007 and I can tell you that our users are thrilled with it. We have a bit more than 700 people and no real training was required.. We essentially got everyone setup in Google Apps, started migrating mail, and said everyone has 3 months to start using the new system 'cause Exchange is being shutdown. It was a remarkably smooth migration.

And $36 vs $50 is nothing when you consider what you're getting. iNotes you get email, contacts, and calendaring with a 1 GB user limit (2002 called and would like their web mail back). Google Apps you get mail, contacts, calendaring, docs, sites, video, wave(?), etc... 25.6GB user limit.. c'mon.. There's no comparison here.

Re:Outages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621425)

Have you seen the UI? They are talking about the LotusLive iNotes solution which as someone pointed out doesn't even use Lotus Notes/Domino on the back end - its all mySQL/Linux. It looks and feels like any web mail client, if you are that frustrated over using it I would suggest you must have logged on to the wrong web site. Take a look and then come back to me if you still think it has big UI problems... https://www.lotuslive.com/en/services/inotes [lotuslive.com]

And if that doesn't work... (3, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620689)

...we'll call it eLotusLive iNotes. Dot com.

Re:And if that doesn't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620813)

...2.0

Re:And if that doesn't work... (1)

SlashV (1069110) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621103)

You forgot "My" and "You"!
I propose eLotusYouLive iMyNotes Dot com.NET :D

eLotusLive iNotes. Dot com. (1)

Jim Efaw (3484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621175)

...we'll call it eLotusLive iNotes. Dot com.

You forgot the "My" on the front, which is of course required for any website that includes any variable other than the a datestamp in the underlying programming code. my dot my-eLotus-eLive-iNotesCom dot com would be perfect for that. Now all they need is the linkless "Best experienced with Adobe Flash" background for the mandatory Flash file that redirects to a hostname on completely different domain than the entry page, and it will be completely innovative and fresh. (And I'd even use it if the only other choice were real Lotus Notes.)

Fave Lotus Notes feature (3, Funny)

British (51765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620797)

The "you have new email" icon looks more like you have a new burrito waiting. Seriously, who designed this thing? It still looks like the Lotus Notes I used back in '95 with the primitive looking GUI.

Re:Fave Lotus Notes feature (3, Informative)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620863)

The "you have new email" icon looks more like you have a new burrito waiting.

Dude, if I had a burrito for every new mail I got, I'd be happy...

Re:Fave Lotus Notes feature (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621705)

You're looking at the "your burrito is waiting" icon.

The "new mail" icon looks like a woman wearing fruit on her head. Duh.

Cell phones (3, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620831)

Businesses have become used to smart phones, the majority of which work with Microsoft Exchange. Phones have pre-loaded clients for Exchange, not for anything from Lotus. If iNotes can't play with current phones, it will be a non-starter.

Re:Cell phones (1)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621465)

It's not the same as this newfangled "iNotes" service that IBM is hawking, but Lotus Domino/Notes has long had a web based interface that you can use if enabled on the server. There was even a very nice template you could apply to your email database (inotes6.ntf in Lotus Notes 6) that looked and performed well.

should not compare apples to oranges. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29620895)

"Pricing starts at $3 per user per month, undercutting Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 per user per year."

IMO: it is bad to quote marketing statists BS. Instead the poster of this article should have paraphrased in a more fair comparison. like:

"Pricing starts at $3 per user per month, undercutting Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs about $4.20 per user per month." ...OR...

"Pricing starts at $36 per user per year, undercutting Google Apps Premier Edition, which costs $50 per user per year."

Once I read the way this was quoted... I knew there was no value in reading further into this biased article.
In fact, I haven't a clue what this marketing campaign is about.

Got potentials. (1)

mvip (1060000) | more than 4 years ago | (#29620949)

I think you guys are underestimating this product. Sure, an on-site Notes deployment might be a bitch to manage, but you won't have to bother with that anymore. Also, take a look at the rest of the product line (LotusLive). It's actually quite impressive. Makes Google Apps look old.

not much hope, i am afraid (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621043)

The person who wrote this story cannot even normalize the pricing, if they work for IBM they don't have a chance at all.

Google vs. Lotus service outages? (1)

Jim Efaw (3484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621057)

Let's see: This IBM guy in the article is making noise about Google's uptime record versus "what you'd expect from IBM in terms of security, reliability and privacy" with Lotus Notes branded products? Wow. It's like he actually aimed before he shot himself in the foot.

firsT post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621227)

codebase became Anoth3r tro_ubled Surprise to the

iNotes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621229)

Was anyone else surprised that Apple didn't already have this trademarked?

Can IBM Take On Google, Microsoft With iNotes? (1, Troll)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621255)

Beating Microsoft products on usability is not exactly a tough achievement. Personally I'd rather use post-it notes than Outlook.

Why the hate for Notes? (1)

brucmack (572780) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621461)

Notes has come a long way. On the server side, it's vastly superior to Exchange - fewer servers required, true clustering for 100% uptime, lower hardware requirements with each version, runs on many platforms. The client got a bit bloated with the move to Eclipse, but the basic client is still available if you want speed over functionality. And it runs on open standards on several platforms. Why the hate?

Re:Why the hate for Notes? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621771)

The people espousing the hate actually, you know, USE THE PRODUCT.

I had to support the ball of shit. It loved to crash Palms by making calendar items that ended before they began. Notes had been around approx. 20 years at the time, and it never occurred to anybody at Lotus that, hm, maybe you shouldn't be able to make a meeting end before it begins because that makes NO FUCKING SENSE. But no, Notes was perfectly ok with it, and our poor Palms suffered as a result.

And that's just one tiny example of how Lotus Notes made my IT life hell. I spent more time answering Notes complaints than all other complaints combined.

Wonder how long before they get sued by apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621495)

Apple seems to try to claim they own the thought of calling anything iSomething. I figure it won't be a week till they start saying, hey, that is our name.

Where is Zimbra? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621587)

Zimbra gets underplayed. It's the Exhange killer that works well, easy to addminister, cross platform, mac/win/lin/winmo/web/outlook/etc. compatible. It has antivirus, antispam, archiving, clustering, scalable to nearly any size, ldap/AD integration, shared calendars, should I continue?

THIS IS IT, FOLKS!

Why doesn't it get more press?

How can you fail to predict a market IN THE PAST? (2, Interesting)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621727)

Here's something to think about, to all of you declaring that Notes is crap.

The real enterprise class messaging world is split about in half between using Microsoft Exchange on the back end and using Lotus Domino on the back end. Different analysts will split it in different places, and different parts of the world will also vary the numbers a bit, but generally the market for enterprise messaging is about split in half with everyone else taking up a very small percentage.

So, the product that you're calling "absolute crap" seems to be one of the few in the software industry holding its own against a relentless Microsoft push for years on end. Why is that? The answer is because it is VERY good at doing what it does -- which is providing a messaging platform that is manageable and secure across really large enterprises with tens or hundreds of thousands of users.

Lots of products are better than Notes or Domino at one or two things, but no product has the breadth and scope of its features in an enterprise manageable application server. The closest thing to it would be an entire linux distro, with various packages performing roles similar to the tasks on a Domino server. It's not a great match up but it's a hell of a lot closer than comparing it to "Gmail" which is pretty good for EMAIL or to Exchange. Maybe if you compared it to Exchange + Outlook + Sharepoint + SQL Server + Office + Visual Studio. That's a fairly expensive comparison and totally unmanageable to deploy across tens of thousands of users.

What amazes me are the predictions of failure. Hello? It already succeeded! It makes a TON of money and keeps a LOT of people employed. I can certainly understand if you don't LIKE the product. There are things that are long overdue to be overhauled, for sure. Predicting the failure of something that has already succeeded though -- that's fairly moronic.

As someone pointed out, however, LotusLive iNotes is not Notes, not Domino based iNotes (which has won awards, by the way, for its user interface), but is in fact an entirely different platform specifically built to be a hosted mail environment that has nothing to do with the old Lotus Notes or the Domino server. So far, I don't recommend it.
 

Zimbra instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29621945)

Zimbra is highly cost effective.

You can either outsource it or run it internally.

It scales to 100,000 users with enterprise calendaring, address books, shared folders, etc. Only the todo list isn't as good as what MS-Exchange offers.

There is a free, FOSS version and a paid support version, neither require CALs.

In my company, we only support the AJAX/Webmail version for users.

As an extra bonus, MS-Outlook doesn't work very well with the FOSS version. The paid version has all the outlook plugins you can stand, for a price.

So, start with the free version and add more and more users to it.

Full disclosure - I'm just a happy admin running Zimbra FOSS version in a Xen machine. No relationship to the company.

OMG (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29621959)

The responsiveness and clarity of Notes plus the reliability of Web 2.0

Let me kill myself now. Please.

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