Our old buddy is at it again…

Dan Lyons has put out another article that shows his disdain for all things IBM Lotus. As a journalist myself, I would think I was coming across as rather transparent in my disdain as opposed to being a balanced reporter if I had written that. He makes an offhanded comment on Linux being more expensive on the server side than Windows, and depending upon the study (and who it was funded by) that may or may not be true. But to just throw it out there without supporting data is rather suspect. It’s the internet, there are these things called hyperlinks!

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Anyway, he thinks that Lotus’ announcement of an Open Client platform is just a renaming of the Notes client. In actuality, the open client announcement just solidifies what was already known, that Lotus is releasing Sametime, and Notes on an Eclipse-based architecture that will work on Windows, Mac or Linux. The thing I don’t get is that he tries to make this seem like a bad thing. Since when is MORE choice a bad thing, I just don’t get the logic there.

And this has to be the funniest part of the article:

Lotus Notes is far and away the most horrible software on the planet. Sure, people grumble about Microsoft products. But that’s nothing compared to how people feel about Notes. People hate Notes. As in, they want to change jobs just so they can stop using it. I’m pretty sure there are shrinks who have built practices around it. I get desperate e-mails from people whose companies have been acquired by IBM, saying that of all the bad things about having to work for IBM, by far the worst is having to use Notes.

I know this is meant to fan the flames and get the Notes faithful all in a tizzy, but it’s just so laughable that you cannot possibly take it seriously. He then goes on to bitch about a line in the press release that states that the software is “priced according to customer requirements.” He tears that apart as there being no list price and that they’ll charge whatever they want after heavy consulting fees. That’s definitely not the case, the problem is, there are various ways that you can price this stuff. Do you need email only? How about collaboration? You want Sametime? Just the IM piece or the full-blown web conferences and rich IM client? Are you bundling it with server software (such as one of the Linux distros?) You see, you can’t just put out a one-price fits all number in the press release without knowing which pieces a customer wants.

As someone who has to buy a lot of Notes and Domino software, I know how many variations there are. You could probably have a whole press release dedicated solely to that. And if you wanted the whole kitchen sink, the price might look pretty extreme to a small business, so why shoot yourself in the foot?

Anyway, with more choice comes more options, and more options is always a good thing in my opinion.