Microsoft, IBM duke it out

The past couple of weeks have shown Microsoft landing the first punch in what's bound to be a fun tussle between Redmond and Big Blue. Microsoft is looking to use a whole host of downloadable code freebies to woo customers away from IBM's Domino to Exchange, but you may not want to follow that free sugar trail just yet.

First, what's the deal with Vienna, the new code name for the OS that will succeed Vista? Supposedly, it's "more closely related to Vista than Blackcomb." But other than beginning with a V, I'm not sure how. What about Venal? As in "a venal corporation needs to force more desktop technology down our throats for gut-wrenching profits." Or maybe Violence, as in what will happen when I walk into a budget meeting in 2008 with Vienna screenshots and cost figures. I could think of more, but I'd tick off the editor.

Let's get back to freebies. Redmond has come out with a whole host of beefed-up migration tools for Exchange. OK, they're pretty much designed to suck customers away from Lotus Notes and onto Exchange, but that may not be such a bad thing, depending on your situation. If you're in that boat, Microsoft is making three key tools available for free download: the Microsoft Application Analyzer 2006 for Lotus Domino, Microsoft Data Migrator 2006 for Lotus Domino, and the newly developed Windows SharePoint Services Application Templates.

Application Analyzer comes first, and it's pretty much a documentation tool for showing how to move from Lo to Ex. Data Migrator comes next, and it's designed to migrate your basic Notes apps into SharePoint apps along with the SharePoint Services Application Templates -- but only up to a point, and a pretty general point at that. Organizations that have spent serious bucks on building custom Notes applications will still need significantly more porting muscle to move that code over to Exchange. But if that doesn't bother you and you want to get started on your Notes exodus right away, Microsoft immediately offers Exchange connectors for Notes mail and scheduling functions as well as an updated Migration Wizard.

Sounds pretty good for customers who might be frustrated with Notes, right? If you're thinking this represents a big investment in anti-IBM bits and bytes, you're correct. And, no, it's not because there's a sudden weakness in the Notes product line that Microsoft is looking to exploit. It's because there's simply fewer fresh enterprise e-mail clients around -- "fresh" meaning those without an existing commitment to a major collaboration platform. So Microsoft's got to take those customers from competitors, and it's chosen IBM's brood as the first target.

Frankly, Big Blue has little choice but to return the favor. So even though Microsoft has struck the first blow, as it were, you can expect a counter swipe from IBM. And soon. So if you're an existing Notes customer, there's probably a good chance you can finagle some freebies out of IBM in the near future. After all, neither IBM nor Microsoft can concentrate solely on grabbing new customers; they've got to keep a firm grip on their existing ones, too.

And as long as Microsoft and IBM are starting this little war, you might as well check out the rest of the competition, too. For example, --InfoWorld just gave a Technology of the Year award to the Gordano Messaging Suite, which was feat ured prominently in our Exchange Killer review last year. And let's not forget Novell and Groupwise. True, it's never been my favorite collaboration platform, but Novell has been doing quite a bit of innovation deep in the bowels of Utah, so who knows? Best to stay on top of all these variables before making any lasting decisions.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Oliver Rist

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?