by Volker Weber

From the IBM Lotus Software Press Room:

The 1.1 version of the Lotus Workplace family of products will be available for download in Q4 2003. IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging 1.1 will be available for $29 per user, while the IBM Lotus Workplace Team Collaboration 1.1 will be available for $89 per user. IBM Lotus Workplace Collaborative Learning 1.1 will be available for $35 per user, and IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 1.1 will be available for $49,999 per CPU.

50000 (Fiftythousand) US-Dollars per processor -- OK, minus 1 -- for a web content management system? Holy cow.

Now let's take a look at the german press release that was sent out by mail to the press:


Well, we use a comma as the decimal point and a point as a separator for thousands and millions. Somebody was so smart to think there was a typo and just chopped off one nine. 49.99 per CPU -- that would be quite a deal.

To top it off, the german release says "ab sofort" (immediately) while the US release says "will be available for download in Q4 2003". This proves again that it is highly advisable to check the sources.


> 50000 (Fiftythousand) US-Dollars per processor --
> OK, minus 1 cent -- for a web content management system?
> Holy cow.

actually it is minus 1 dollar. so much about smart thinking. ;-)


dietmar, 2003-11-06

Haha, gotcha. That's not minus 1 cent but minus 1 Dollar.
And not 49,95 but 49,99. Is it too late? ;-)

But while 50000 seems to be quite expensive 49,99 is too cheap, isn't it?

Oliver, 2003-11-06

Thanks. Fixed. BTW: You missed the other error that I fixed right with it. :-)

Volker Weber, 2003-11-06

Oliver did not miss it. It's good to have readers.

Volker Weber, 2003-11-06

I think they meant Hong Kong dollars , so divide by 7.8 ~= $6000. Does that feel better? It's still cheaper than comparable Microsoft Solution which will be about $7000 (but that includes the hardware also).

We once sent an invoice for USD 85,00 to an US based company.
Unfortunenately the use of commas as decimal delimiter is hardcoded into our software, so it can not be changed for our customers in the US.

Imagine my surprise when I checked our account a couple of days later and found that they had transferred 85.000 USD.

In the 3 days it took to sort out, the exchange rate for USD -> EURO had ticked down 3 or 4 cents - do the math.
But as I later found out, the loss induced by changes in the exchange rate is actually a problem the banks have to cope with.


Marc, 2003-11-06

ok, yes you are right. shit happens - there was a mis-translation in our german press release. SORRY for that - but now everything is fixed in our online ibm pressroom:

have fun ;-)

Beate Werlin, 2003-11-07

Don't shoot the translator. :-)

Volker Weber, 2003-11-07

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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