Though the news that International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) is set to drop the Lotus brand from its forthcoming version 9.0 of Notes and Domino came subtly and silently, the news is indeed very astonishing.
Recalling its history, the brand made a buzz in the market back in 1995 with a price tag of $US.3.52bn and reserved the front page event for every news correspondents. $US.3.52bn for acquisition was all-but-unheard-of in those far-off days. With an exclusive combination of messaging and a lightweight, database-driven, application development environment not only made it highly enticing for enterprises living the client/server dream of the mid 1990s but also established Notes as the clear leader in a product category known as “groupware”. Notes' whopping client strained the first-generation Pentium-powered PCs of the day.
However, the subsequent versions of Notes and Domino nevertheless succeeded commendably, ultimately generating Big Blue's range of collaboration software.
Recently, Microsoft is promoting Notes-to-Exchange migrations for both messaging and applications. Even Ray Ozzie, the application developer of Notes too has been appointed Bill Gates's successor as Microsoft's Chief Software architect. This shook IBM and the revelation of the brand's demise emerged in this blog post by Ed Brill, IBM's director for social business and collaboration solutions. “A version number increment is designed to do several things: create buzz in the market, including awareness from the industry press and analysts who might not pay attention to a 'mod' point release; convey vendor confidence in the product and its value; indicate longevity of the product; and signal the delta in new features and capabilities.”
However, it is unclear as to if the company would disappear the Lotus brand entirely or not. A glace at the website of Big Blue’s reveals that the company still maintains a web page dedicated to Lotus software, but sublimates the name 'Lotusphere' in promotion for the 'IBM Connect' event it will run in 2013.