From: Bob Muglia (Exchange)
Friday, Thursday 17, 1996 4:57 PM
To: Bob Muglia's Direct Reports (Exchange DL); Kurt DelBene
(Exchange); Steven Sinofsky; Brian Arbogast (Exchange); Richard
McAniff; Craig Flabig; (Exchange); Russell Stockdale (Exchange); Betsy
Johnson (Exchange); Andrew Kwatinetz; Gordon Manglone (Exchange)
Cc: Bill Gates; Steve Ballmer; Paul Maritz; Jim Allchin (Exchange);
Subject IBM threat to Knowledge Workers
After yesterday's IBM competitive review, I thought it would be
usefull to send some mail which summarizes a set of concerns I have
been considering. I believe that if you look at everything IBM is
doing, it is fair to consider that they are executing on a comprehsive
strategy to take knowledge workers away from MS. Their strategy:
1. Capture the knowledge worker data in Domino.
2. Replace the Office desktop with Notes.
3. Create the oppurtunity for an IBM OS on the business desktop which
You can argue that for Lotus's 30M customers, we've already lost their
data to Domino. As Bill pointed out yesterday, this is gone and we
need to do something to get it back.
For the desktop apps, the situation is better but tenuous. Most
customers who use Notes today also use Office. But if you look at the
R5 Notes Ui, they are clearly focused on minimizing the reasons for a
user to run Office. We saw a glimpse of that with the Java HTML editor
in R5. Lotus has 540 people building desktop apps and we know that
msot of these guys aren't working on Smartsuite. I think it reasonab;e
to believe that these
This is very scary because if the knowledge worker only needs Notes
and Domino then we have truly lost that user. This impacts more than
Office because the knowledge worker desktop is the foundation upon
which we want to build for business aps and commerce. Put another way,
how hard would it be to sign an EA with a customer who isn't using
Lastly, although from where we sit today it might seem distant, I
think we must assume that IBM's ultimate goal is to use Notes to
enable the replacement of Windows on the business desktop. If a users
data is in Domino and their UI/app is Notes, then Windows is basically
irrelevant for that user. We know IBM is building an NC OS but I think
we could be confised about this being just a terminal replacement.
With Domino as your files
So how can we win?
1. Keep the data we have. Get back the data we've lost to Domino
2. Make Notes unnecessary
3. Provide unique value to Windows desktops.
In the medium term, we need to enrich the filesystem to once again
make this an attractive place to store documents. But for now, to keep
the data we have, we need to use Platinum/PKM as a rich store with
moderm features people have come to expect from solutions like Domino.
We need to get Platinum/PKM deployed on servers with support for
symmetric client-side caching and offline capabilities ASAP. This is
required just to
Yesterday at the IBM review, Bill and I had a "discussion" about what
it would take to get back Domino customers. To start, we need parity
with Notes/Domino feature set. We also obviously need additional
features beyond Notes that causes customers to choose our solution.
To help them with migration, we need to continue the work currently
underway to move all the data and run Notes apps on our solution.
While I don't think the way to do this is to independently develop
full Domino compatibility, there is a lot we can do which we aren't
yet doing. For example we will probably need to add additional
semantics to the Outlook/CDO object model to enable easy conversion of
Notes apps onto our solution
In the desktop space, while most Lotus customers today also run
Office, we must assume that this can't last. The question comes down
to: Which will they choose in the future? Office or Notes?
For Office to win, the combination of Office+BackOffice needs to
easily enable a full set of solutions customers solve today with
Notes. A lot of very positive things are happening around this as a
part of the ATG planning process. It is critical that these
conversations turn into product plans which we can efectivly bring to
Jon and I have talked about doing a short cycle on the next release of
Office to quickly get the KM benefits of Office+BackOffice in the
Platinum timeframe. This also came up during today's customer feedback
review. We need to decide what to do here. Another related issue which
yesterdays Notes client demo highlighted is the need for us to pull
together a cohesive set of developer/design tools which simplify the
creation of comm
On the Windows client front, we have spent a lot of time discussing
this. It is clear that providing a compelling developer message, a
great mobile experience, and simplifying the installation and
management of our software can solve many of our problems. This is
tough but I think we all agree we need to do this.
Anyway, I didn't think all of this was summarized yesterday so I
thought it usefull to pull it together.
Comments are welcome.
court documents in the case of Comes v Microsoft.
>From the MICROS'1 dictionary of technical terms
'add additional semantics', verb ..
Clone something and copy it into your own apps.