... and perhaps the Wal-Mart machines are an extreme example. Certainly your existing client base would not likely be much interested.
- We are no longer in the '90s
- There is very little tolerance for the upgrade gravy-train of the wintel heyday in many areas -- especially public organisations and even in the US (especially in public organisations where many cities have huge budget shortfalls right now).
- Outside the US (i.e. the other 95% of the world) cost is very much an issue and Wal-Mart style machines don't look so extreme
- Both hardware and the software that runs on it are becoming very low margin commodities
- This all leads to the potential for market share in a wholly new set of markets (India, China etc.)
- If you don't want to be selling "buggy whips" very soon you need to reduce TCO either by reducing your prices (not a happy option) increasing value (which you do constantly to the best of your ability already) or by reducing platform cost.
- I suspect that significant customer base expansion can only come from very budget conscious clients -- all the people with deep pockets have already bought or have decided not to.
Now I know that Lotus takes the 'let them come, then we'll build it' approach, but I just don't see why you can't "just try it" sometimes, I can't believe a custom winelet would cost much and you would at least get some publicity from it. An experimental release couldn't hurt I'm sure.