IBM used the 22nd DNUG conference to talk about the next release of Notes. Because the conference is held in Hannover they assigned the name of this exciting city (cough, cough) to this project. Did you know that Hannover is spoken as Hunn-O-fer? Which does not rime with Hangover. :-)
So what is IBM announcing? Notes as an incarnation of the Workplace Client, able to run all existing Notes applications. We have heard that before, haven't we? So what else is new? Hannover will be provisioned from the next version of Domino. No extra Workplace Server. Unless they rebrand a Workplace Server as Domino.
What people got really excited is the look of the next version. It shows that IBM is finally assigning real interface designers to Notes, and don't let it be done by developers, who sometimes are great developers but poor designers. However you should not forget you are seeing bitmaps of something that the may or may not be the next version of Notes. It simply does not exist yet. IBM hopes to be able to show some live code at Lotusphere 2006 which means it is still very far out until you get this on your desktop, let alone deploy it to your users.
I think Hannover serves as a beacon into the future and its only value today is to show that Notes is not dead.
And, in the end, isn't that enough? The only real "Notes killers" out there are FUD and apathy, and this should help with both.
The excitement over a load of bitmaps comes in part from many people havng seen how far the Workplace managed client has already come, and more to the point, how the Notes plug-in works with it thus far.
For “technical previews”, both beasties are doing pretty well.
So, I would say this all bodes well for the Eclipse-based “Notes client.”
I don’t think the challenge for IBM is delivering this new “Notes client” — that will happen for sure. I think the challenge is delivering all this for platforms other than Windows...
Also just seeing that it looks pretty tells you nothing about it's usability. In fact, i'd rather a plainer looking Notes client that functioned like every other application on the system, not yet another set of widgets with their own quirks.
I recently "switched" to a Powerbook and have really started to appreciate the usability increase in having a consistent interface in (most) applications - small eg, I know I can hit cmd-, and get prefs no matter which app I'm in. Even if not using the keyboard Prefs are always in the same place in the menu and called the same thing.
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