I must admit, it’s been awhile since I covered or thought about IBM or Lotus Notes/Domino, but this announcement struck me as particularly interesting.
In case you missed it, IBM has completely dropped the Lotus moniker. Its next release is IBM Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition; the new name really rolls off the tongue doesn’t it? Well there’s a reason IBM has gone this route.
The IBM name is more widely recognized and the company was readying the Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.4 with Social Edition features. Now it has rolled everything up into one completely new client/server release (though the focus is moreso on the client-side).
Note: A Notes/Domino 8.5.4 update is still planned.
This led me to touch base with a past contact (who wished to remain anonymous).
“I think it’s about time they dropped the name,” he said. “Holding onto the Lotus brand was going to have more of a negative impact than a positive one.”
He suggested that the Lotus name is associated with a legacy platform — whether rightly or wrongly. By tweaking the name, Notes/Domino Social Edition is now a “new” idea.
Social Edition allows Notes apps to run in a Web browser. Additionally, there are email and calendar enhancements and Xpages improvements, just to name a few.
While IBM’ers tout returning customers, it remains to be seen how effective the new naming convention and features will prove.
The Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition beta will be available for download a month from today — December 14 — and the official release is expected Q1 2013. This brings up an interesting point.
Exchange Server 2013 is also slated to release Q1 2013. Is this a coincidence? Yes, it probably is; IBM has been working on these products for a while and the shift has added a bit more work into the process.
Any thoughts on the announcement? Feel free to email me.