Keeping your eyes on the ball

by Volker Weber

Interesting observation:

I've always thought that the worst kind of desperate marketing for a product or service is when a company stops trying to say "our product is better" and starts saying; "our competitor's product is worse". Sadly, this seems to be the case with Microsoft today.

I agree with the general sentiment. But not with the last sentence. Microsoft never stopped saying their product is better. Besides, Microsoft's story is not that Notes is worse. Their story is that they are winning customers from the Notes camp. IBM says that is not true and that IBM is winning Microsoft customers at about the same rate as Microsoft is winning IBM customers. But that is not the point here.

I am always disappointed when an employee of company A dismisses products of company B. Up until a couple of years ago, IBM never did that. It was a sign of their strength. Sadly, things have changed, and there seems to be an obsession with Microsoft.

Here is a simple question: do you frown upon "Notes sucks" postings from people not up to speed on your latest and greatest? If so, how can you possibly assume you are doing better with "Exchange sucks"? It just makes you look incompetent. Kick your own ball. That's what you are good at.

And if you are afraid of a perceived Microsoft wave, try to look over it to spot the rising Google tsunami coming at you. Maybe, just maybe, Google is figuring out how to make an ASP business model work. They already figured out delivery.


If people used a little more time showing why their product is better instead of saying the other side is fighting unfair and have a useless product it would give alot more respect.

From most of the comment seen around its clear that people never actually bothered to install and see what its about.

Its about as uneducated to say exchange is insecure and unstable as it is to refer to Notes in the interfracefromhell or whatever its called.

I dont know a singe exchange consultant that dont have Domino running and at least know the basics of what a part of the competetion is about.

Flemming Riis, 2008-01-30

I thought that the Lotusphere this year had the least amount of MS bashing that I've seen for a long time. In the past we have had the "Boss loves MS, where does that leave Domino" type sessions and they were notable by there absence this year.

But I guess this is all about impressions, yours differs from mine in this case.

Matt White, 2008-01-30

On the Google front - I always thought they were doing IBM Lotus a favour. By replacing/competing against the "default at home" Outlook for email they take away one of the strongest reasons why Outlook at work has an easy time of it - because of the familiarity.

Whilst we are not "yet" (in my opinion) at Google being a credible enterprise solution (email - for the larger companies especially) it gives IBM Lotus a great chance to steal some market share.

For me the MS domination has long peaked and the rest will have a more "even" competitive field to play in.

Steve Castledine, 2008-01-30

Matt, I am not referring to Lotusphere specifically. I think you will find those "Exchange sucks" comments in the Lotus echo chamber a lot.

Steve, Google will take away from both Microsoft and IBM. They are currently winning small agile businesses. Enterprise customers are much slower to adapt to change. For the time being, IBM can feed on them just fine.

Volker Weber, 2008-01-30

I agree that Google is like the tiger waiting in the wings to pounce upon the business market. The way that Microsoft, IBM, and other software companies will succeed is by changing/evolving the computing paradigms prior to Google having a viable alternative. Both MS and IBM/Lotus are making better attempts at newer models of collaboration with foci on the social context of computing in groups. The other major business players are actually at most risk: EMC, Oracle, etc. Collaboration can be summed up in two words that are deeply intertwined: Content and Communication. Lotus has been very successful with this for about 15 years; Microsoft for fewer years, but now with similar success.

Personally, I haven't seen any more MS bashing by IBM than in the past; it comes across as a highly respectful dislike of the Microsoft tactics.

Daniel Lieber, 2008-01-30

"And if you are afraid of a perceived Microsoft wave, try to look over it to spot the rising Google tsunami coming at you." Great line!

Has anyone had the opportunity to look into the details of "IBM Lotus Foundations"; the small Domino on Linux appliance that was held up at this year's Lotusphere OSG? It's my understanding that pricing hasn't been announced yet, but I would also like to know how open the appliance is. Can a small company create their own apps and host them on this domino appliance?

Ken Porter, 2008-01-30


"Can a small company create their own apps and host them on this domino appliance?"

I'd hope it was available as an option. My guess is that they will offer versions that match the current "Mail Only" and "App Server" licences.

Kerr Rainey, 2008-01-30

Weren't all the popular Apple Mac marketing campaigns based around a happy Mac owner and a sad Windows owner because "windows sucks".

Ben Rose, 2008-01-30

@Ben: if you mean Apple’s current marketing campaign, it does poke fun at Windows (and this has been controversial for some), but the Mac character also tries to get along with his impoverished companion. Not forgetting that the tone of the whole thing is ultimately just funny, and pretty good-natured.

One thing the IBM / MS thing is short of is humour or affability, I think everyone would agree (although the whole “Red Bull” thing was quite amusing!)

Ben Poole, 2008-01-30

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