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Lotus Notes 8 Review

Lotus Notes 8 has become very interesting to me now that it includes code and the ability to create ODF files!

From a strategic standpoint, IBM really had to do this–Microsoft has been using its power in the office suite market to target Lotus Notes users for switching to Exchange, so now IBM is taking the fight back to Microsoft. Lotus Notes 8 users will now receive daily reminders that they might not need MS Office afterall, since they’ve already got ODF creation tools right in front of them. And knowing that 100+ million new users can read ODF files will embolden users of KOffice, and others to share files in the ODF format, building market and mind-share for this key open file format.

In this context, Mike Heck reviews Lotus Notes 8 for InfoWorld and finds it very compelling on its own merits:

Notes 8 has a clean new look, logical menus, and customizable layouts; for me, this design makes the client easier to use compared to Microsoft Outlook… You can preview documents in a vertical pane to the right, and you can recall messages — two features that Microsoft Outlook has offered for ages. Where Notes now beats Outlook, though, is in its capability of arranging messages as a conversation thread — and these can span an entire mail file, not just your inbox. Just highlight one message and all related ones automatically become part of the thread…”

I’d love to see IBM develop a strategy to get Lotus Notes into small businesses… by offering a fully open source version of the application! I think their current clients, mostly large enterprises, would continue to purchase service agreements, so existing sales would not be cannibalized. And small businesses would jump on an open source Lotus Notes, which would be much better for them than Exchange, too tightly tied to the Windows platform as it is.

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