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Lotus and Microsoft: Still Hateful After All These Years

I've had the joy and honor of covering the software business since June 4, 1984. Back then, Lotus and Microsoft hated each other. I also followed both throughout the 1990s, and you know what? Lotus and Microsoft still hated each other. It's now 2009 and, as you've already surmised, Lotus and Microsoft still hate each other.

In the '80s, the fight was over spreadsheets, word processors and databases. Lotus got its clock cleaned in all three areas. The '90s brought a battle over messaging and collaboration. Lotus took a quick lead, but ultimately its clock was again cleaned by the boys in Redmond.

Lotus, now owned by IBM, hasn't given up. It's still pushing Notes and Notes-like products, such as the recently announced LotusLive, a hosted messaging tool.

Microsoft has two reasons to be irritated by this announcement. First, LotusLive sounds an awful lot like WindowsLive. Second, Lotus has been telling the world that Notes has a majority share of the Fortune 100 messaging and collaboration market. Notes may be alive and well in many big IBM shops, but the market as a whole has clearly moved to Outlook and Exchange.

Are you an IBM shop? Why are Notes and related products better than Exchange and Outlook? Honest answers readily received at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on January 23, 2009 at 11:53 AM


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