Fredrik Malmborg just posted an article (in Swedish) on his blog about how the Swedish government have been moving several departments (taxes, defence, etc) from an IBM/Lotus platform to the Microsoft stack. He noticed that a certain executive with sales responsibility for public sector at a big software company became Secretary of State (not the same as "Secretary of State" in the US) right before the government asked a certain software company (guess which one!) to write the specification for the new system. Coincidentally that same company (Microsoft) was then choosen to deliver the solution. IBM was never offered to even compete.
Here are some arguments used in the studies presented to the government why the switch should be done:
* Outlook is used privately by many users and thus have a higher acceptance.
* The similar interface improves the user experience.
I know that IBM does not believe in those arguments, but the customers and the ones in charge (may it be politicians, civil servants or a CEO) buy that argument. Line, hook and sinker... Especially if the persons in change are among the ones that use Outlook at home (since it come bundled with many versions of Office). I personally know several people who use Outlook (not Outlook Express!) at home for their private mail, as they can easily aggregate several mail accounts into one client. I been building/rebuilding a number of computers for friends lately, and the request to use Outlook came up several times.
I believe that IBM should create a "IBM Mail" client, with support for POP/IMAP/SMTP as well as direct support for Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail. Why not add Domino and Exchange support, to allow users to connect to work, without installing the full Notes client?
The client must be able to aggregate mail from multiple sources, and send mail using any of those services. When you compose a new mail, there should be a dropdown where you select Gmail, your ISP service or Yahoo mail (depending on what you have setup), the same way as it works on most smart phones today. If you reply to a mail, the service is was received on should be default, e.g. if the mail was received through one of my Gmail accountrs, the reply should be sent using the same account.
This client should look like Notes mail, contain a calendar, to-do, journal, perhaps an RSS feed and support for widgets. Why not throw in a couple of simple but useful applications? Show that "IBM Mail is not just mail". Strip away as much as possible when it comes to complicated menus, settings, etc. The properties/settings in the Notes client causes any normal user to get a headache instantly... Make it easy and quick to setup, and make it available as a free download, without any annoying registration. Most of all, make the client fast.
The market perception will not change overnight, but in the long run, showing that "IBM Mail" looks modern and has the functionality people need will benefit Notes.
Code – Mask text to remove PII
Mon, Dec 2nd 2013 10:10a Karl-Henry Martinsson Sometimes you need to remove personal identifiable information (PII) from the data you present in an application or on a web page. In the last couple of weeks this issue popped up twice, including one application which needs to be be HIPAA compliant. One solution is to mask any personal identifiable data so that the recipient can still verify the information, without sending it all in clear. I am sure you all seen this on for example credit card statements, with only the last 4 digits of your cr [read] Keywords: domino
“Half an operating system: The triumph and tragedy of OS/2″
Tue, Nov 26th 2013 12:47p Karl-Henry Martinsson The other day I found an interesting article at arstechnica about the history of OS/2, the IBM operating system that was supposed to replace MS-DOS. “Half an operating system: The triumph and tragedy of OS/2” brings back a lot of memories for me.
I worked at Microsoft in 1988/89, when the first couple of versions of OS/2 had just arrived on the market. IBM was just down the road, and one day my boss gave me a stack of floppy disks containing the Microsoft-developed OS/2 version 1.1 [read] Keywords: ibm
Book Review: A man called Ove
Mon, Nov 11th 2013 10:20a Karl-Henry Martinsson One of the most talked about books in Sweden in 2012 was “En man som heter Ove” (“A man called Ove”) by Fredrik Backman. Fredrik did the unusual thing to debut with two books at the same time, his other book was called “Saker min son behöver veta om världen” (“Things My Son Needs To Know About Life”). Earlier this month his third book, “Min mormor hälsar och säger förlåt” (no english title yet, translates to roughly “ [read] Keywords:
API for ZIP Code Distance, Radius, and more
Wed, Oct 16th 2013 5:15p Karl-Henry Martinsson The other day I stumbled on a really cool website, where they offer a free API to calculate distance between two US ZIP codes, all ZIP codes in a specific radius from a given ZIP code, as well as a few other ZIP code related functions.
The results can be returned in different formats, like JSON, XML and (in some cases) CSV. Highly recommended! The URL is http://zipcodedistanceapi.redline13.com/
I am considering creating a Lotusscript class for some of the [read] Keywords: lotusscript
Excellent Bootstrap select plugin with great support
Wed, Oct 16th 2013 5:03p Karl-Henry Martinsson For a project I am currently working on, I needed a nicer looking select box (drop down) than what Bootstrap offers out of the box. I did some searches and found a handful of free ones, most of them pretty good but not exactly what I wanted. Some did not handle different themes, other had additional functionality I did not want/need, etc. I probably been looking for a good alternative for 3 weeks by now.
Then the other day I found an inexpensive plugin at CodeCanyon. Custom Select for Twitter [read] Keywords: bug
Bose takes on Sonos
Thu, Oct 10th 2013 11:44p Karl-Henry Martinsson Bose, well known for their noise-cancelling headsets and bluetooth/iPhone speakers in the SoundLink/SoundDock series, today presented a new series of multi-room audio products, which they intend to compete with Sonos Multi-Room Music System.
Today three products were released in time for the holiday season, with more products in the works for next year. I was able to play around with them for a little while, and I have to admit, they sound really good.
SoundTouch 30, Soundtouch 20 and Soun [read] Keywords: iphone
Time to nominate IBM Champions
Tue, Oct 8th 2013 10:02a Karl-Henry Martinsson Kathy Brown recently posted about the nomination of IBM Champions for 2014, and I wanted to spread the word as well.
Anyone can nominate non-IBMers who are sharing their knowledge, evangelize and advocate for IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS), help grow and nurture the community and provide feedback to IBM (both negative and positive) in a professional manner.
You can learn more at the IBM Champion website, and (more important) you can also nominate someone you feel should be an IBM Champion. [read] Keywords: collaboration
Thu, Oct 3rd 2013 9:42a Karl-Henry Martinsson Today I logged in to IdeaJam (#thanksbruce) and for some reason I decided to look at my own old ideas, something I haven’t done in a while. I noticed this post, from december 2010, almost a year before IBM launced the XWork server in October 2011…
Perhaps IBM listens sometimes, even if they did not make it free, $1000/year is not a bad price for a powerful server like Domino/XWorks. [read] Keywords: domino
Swedish fighter jets to compete for US contract
Thu, Sep 12th 2013 11:22a Karl-Henry Martinsson Swedish Air Force JAS39 Gripen (single seat variant). Photo by Ernst Vikne (Creative Commons BY-SA).
According to an article in Aviation Week, Boeing is planning to team up with Swedish airplane manufacturer Saab to offer a new two-seater training version of the JAS 39 Gripen fighter to the US Air Force. The old Northrop T-38 is being retired, and a new trainer is needed in the future.
Approximate 350 trainers are needed, but in addition the fighter could be useful for aggressor training [read] Keywords: development