RE: Fitness for a particular purpose Nathan T. Freeman 6.Dec.02 03:24 PM a Web browser Notes Client 6.0Linux - RedHat, Linux - SuSE
Not that I haven't made the same "home market" argument myself, but how would you expect this to work in the real world?
The argument goes like this: People use Outlook on their home machines and become familiar with it. When they look to make business email decisions, they are already familiar with Outlook, and therefore favor it. So Lotus should make an Express client for home use.
Let's say Lotus goes through the trouble of making a "Notes Express" client. (They kinda have before, you might recall, in R4.) Why would any consumer user actually use it?
You could make it freely downloadable. You could make it easy to use and powerful. But people use Outlook not JUST because it's free but because it's ALREADY THERE. "Notes Express" won't already be there. (Okay, maybe on IBM boxes, but that's marginal in the home anyway.)
Do we look at Netscape Communicator's Mail client, or Eurdora, and say "those are free for home use, therefore they compete against Outlook in the corporate arena?" No, we don't. What success Communicator and Eudora have enjoyed in the corporate space has almost nothing to do with the availability of free versions for home users. Why would a Notes Express client be any different? Yeah, there's a free home email client that looks like Notes.
No one would get it and use it PRIOR to using Notes in a corporate environment, which is the whole claim for Outlook's success! So there'd be no increase in familiarity.
Lotus actually *did* try this a few years ago in Germany, by including demo Notes CDs in a whole bunch of home tech magazines. It failed miserably. There was simply no reason for someone *not* already a Notes user to bother installing this stuff at home. As much as I like Notes, even with some of the imagined improvements, there's still not enough marginal value to the Notes client for someone, without an existing bias, to switch.
Now... a Notes mail client with the Outlook interface... *that* would leverage Outlook's familiarity, but deliver the Notes reliability.
Otherwise, the only way to get around your problem here is to not have Outlook on the base OS in the first place. And that's a much bigger challenge than IBM.