As mentioned in my last blog post, I have invested a lot of time recently building a clearer picture for myself of the history behind Lotus Notes, including Lotusphere. It has been a fascinating look back that really helps provide some clarity for the past few years. At Lotusphere/Connect the trend is obvious. The content at each OGS has proven to be a clear indication of where IBM’s focus has been at that time. At one stage Lotus Notes was front and center and application development seemed to matter. It certainly did to the audience. At this year’s event the product’s only mention was in reference to a bingo event. Times have changed!
At Lotusphere we have seen announcements about the next “big” thing that would change our life.
If we look at the history of the product and the major releases we see a similar trend. Post Notes 6.0 all the major releases have focused on integration with other IBM products. The one exception being Notes 8.5 which delivered XPages and a better editor for LotusScript.
Looking at the features announced at Connect 2014 for “Notes Next” (9.0.2) these are largely catch-up features for things we already find in competing mail products or other mobile/web development platforms. We are playing catch up using a platform that still has release cycles measured in years. If you look back at earlier versions of Notes and Lotusphere the message was more about innovation and how the competitors could reproduce what Notes already had. Lotus/IBM Notes has gone from being an innovator to a follower.