Analyst: Lotus Notes to keep spot in e-mail hierarchy

Notes expected to remain number two for a while yet

Despite an upsurge in open-source and hosted competitors, IBM's Lotus Notes corporate e-mail client software and Domino e-mail server is expected to maintain its second banana status behind Microsoft Outlook and Exchange through at least 2011.

According to data released Wednesday by The Radicati Group, Notes and Domino are in use by 101 million corporate e-mail accounts today.

That includes both conventional POP and Web mailboxes, according to Matt Anderson, an analyst at Radicati. That is expected to grow to 112 million corporate mailboxes worldwide by 2011.

Notes/Domino's share of the market is expected to dip slightly from 20 percent this year to 19 percent by 2011. The total number of e-mail boxes is expected to grow to 606 million in 2011 from 513 million this year.

According to a summary of the Radicati report, Notes/Domino is most popular among large and very large businesses, "as these larger organizations require the more collaborative features that the platform offers." It is also relatively more popular with big organizations in Asia and Europe. 95 percent of the mailboxes are managed by the company itself, rather than outsourced to a hosting or managed service provider.

Anderson said the information is mostly gleaned by surveying e-mail resellers and system integrators, and doublechecking those figures with the original vendors' themselves.

IBM is expected to release Notes/Domino 8 later this year. Radicati said the "most exciting enhancements" are in the Notes 8 client, which uses IBM's Eclipse development platform.

One Domino server-side enhancement in version 8 is a "mail recall" feature that lets users, when enabled by administrators, to recall an e-mail message from a user's inbox, even if the message has been read.

Nevertheless, Outlook and Exchange are expected to continue to dominate and even accelerate their growth. According a report released earlier this spring by Radicati, the number of e-mail boxes managed by Exchange will grow to 304 million in 2011, giving it slightly more than 50 percent of the total market.

Unlike Notes/Domino, almost one-quarter of the e-mail boxes using Exchange will be provided by hosted or managed service providers to corporate users by 2011.

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