"IBM Should Set Lotus Notes Free" - He's kidding, right?
From Michael Hickins Enterprise Tech News blog: IBM Should Set Lotus Notes Free
Hickins takes a bit of a riff from the whole "IBM should open source Notes" theme that got a bit of airplay a couple months back. The general impression I got from the blog buzz is that making Notes an open source project was nearly impossible (due to licensing issues) and that it would be a disaster. Now we have Hickins contending that Notes should be sold off and offered for free:
IBM should do the right thing and use next year's Lotusphere as a platform for selling Notes to a company capable of making it exciting and, most of all, free. Free from its IBM legacy and free of cost as well.
Um... Am I missing something here? Business plan? Return on investment? Business model?
I don't begin to even remotely figure out how you'd sell Lotus Notes to another company (for billions), give away the Notes client, and then expect to recoup costs and make a profit. Perhaps the Notes client is free and the Domino server costs, but even then you're still talking about paying for the power that makes Notes so valuable. This idea is the ultimate in "what we lose in money we'll make up in volume" thinking.
Yes, there are plenty of free plug-ins and web offerings that can offer alternatives to software like Notes and Exchange. And in the long term, it might well be that the "cloud" model will prevail over monolithic architectures hosted on-site. But in the here and now... Spend billions to buy a product you're going to give away?
And I thought the open source push was flawed...