IBM expands Lotus Notes Mac support to iPhone (screenshots)

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
IBM has unveiled a sneak peek of its new Lotus iNotes, a web app client for its Lotus Domino messaging server to bring email, calendar, and contacts to iPhone. The move fulfills rumors of customized iPhone support for Lotus Notes and demonstrates IBM's evolving interest in Apple within the enterprise.



Planned for delivery later this year, Lotus iNotes is built upon IBM's existing Lotus Domino Web Access infrastructure. The company's web site invites users to "bring the enterprise to your Apple iPhone" and says the software will deliver a "rich Apple iPhone user experience."



IBM published a series of screenshots of the tentative iNotes user interface, with the disclaimer that details are subject to change without notice. Those changes may likely include closer adherence to Apple's Human Interface Guidelines for the iPhone, as described in Apple's Introduction to Safari Web Content Guide for iPhone.



The images below are AppleInsider's composited representations of what the Lotus iNotes client will look like in the Safari browser, including support for email attachments, calendar events, and contacts.



The potential of a new platform



The original Lotus, which IBM purchased in 1995, stumbled in the mid 80s in part due to its weak support for the new Macintosh. The company then held a lock on the DOS spreadsheet market with Lotus 1-2-3, but its equivalent product for Apple's new Mac, called Lotus Jazz, failed miserably in part due to its lack of following Apple's human interface guidelines. Jazz was also expensive, late, and buggy.



That misstep allowed Microsoft to enter the Mac spreadsheet market virtually unchallenged, and rise from being a DOS license distributor into a new role as a significant desktop software developer with Excel on the Macintosh. Microsoft later ported Excel to the DOS PC using its Windows environment, and quickly ate into Lotus' 1-2-3 sales.



Lotus finally ported its 1-2-3 flagship to the Mac in 1991, but by then it was too late. After IBM purchased the remains of Lotus four years later, the pair floundered for years in the desktop software market, with Lotus' SmartSuite continuously losing market share to Microsoft's Office, in large measure due to the fact that Microsoft could sell Office licenses directly to PC makers tied to its dominant Windows platform.



Recently, IBM has embarked on a new strategy that backs Sun's OpenOffice suite. IBM is marketing its distribution of the open source alternative to Microsoft Office under the name Lotus Symphony, and has announced plans to provide the suite for free to Mac users, as well as closely integrating the productivity suite to its Lotus Notes messaging server.







IBM betting on Apple



Support for the iPhone in Lotus Notes is only IBM's latest step in investing in Apple's platforms as a competitive alternative to Microsoft's Windows. An AP report from January cited IBM spokesman Mike Azzi as noting that his company has "a lot in common" with Apple. "We're going to cross-pollinate," he said.



Earlier this year in May, IBM released its Informix Data Server 11 for Mac OS X Server. And over the course of the last year, multiple groups within the company have launched pilot programs aimed at evaluating support for migrating to Apple's Mac computers within the company.



An initial study at IBM Research, which started in October of 2007, found that 86% of those participating wanted to keep their MacBook Pro laptops over returning back to IBM ThinkPads running Windows. ?It has been easier learning the Mac than learning Vista,? one participant reported. IBM has since expanded its Mac pilot program.



Enterprise a nearly untapped potential for Apple



Despite enthusiastic interest in Macs from users and a strategic competitive interest in Windows alternatives from Apple among executives, IBM currently has a very small share (less than 1%) of its international workforce using Macs. Many other companies similarly have a small proportion of Macs in their installed base.



However, Apple's dynamic and sustained growth in other markets, including its education stronghold and the much easier to enter consumer market, are having an effect on adoption in the enterprise. Sales of Apple's Mac computers have sharply risen at a rate of between 30 and 40% year over year (Mac market share), in an overall PC market that is barely growing by 3-4%.



A survey of 750 global IT administrators and C-level executives by the Yankee Group found that nearly four out of five businesses -- or approximately 80% --have at least a few Macs and the Mac OS X operating system installed in their networks, and nearly one-quarter said their firm had a "significant" number of Macs installed in their network of more than 30 to 50 units.



IBM's iNotes is the latest example of how the iPhone is helping to stoke interest in Apple's hardware, software, and development tools in the enterprise. In its initial iPhone 2.0 announcement, Apple stated that over a third of Fortune 500 companies had sought access to the company's ongoing iPhone Enterprise Beta program.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    Quote:

    An AP report from January cited IBM spokesman Mike Azzi as noting that his company has "a lot in common" with Apple. "We're going to cross-pollinate," he said.



    Haha... what a quote.

    Sounds like something I would have to pay for...
  • Reply 2 of 35
    And doesn't cross polinate mean that Apple is making something for IBM, too?



    ps. I like the idea of Notes on iPhone, though I no longer use Notes. I hope they're working on a native app rather than web app though.
  • Reply 3 of 35
    spindriftspindrift Posts: 674member
    Please can we just have a native Pages / Word and basic Numbers / Excel editor please can we please?! Don't need another mail or calendar app. Mail and iCal work great as they are.
  • Reply 4 of 35
    abrooksabrooks Posts: 66member
    Barring the fact that this app looks like something suited for Windows XP and I have no doubt it'll actually be a piece of junk it certainly looks feature packed.



    We need more of this but looking better and interfacing with Pages, Keynote and Numbers.
  • Reply 5 of 35
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpinDrift View Post


    Please can we just have a native Pages / Word and basic Numbers / Excel editor please can we please?! Don't need another mail or calendar app. Mail and iCal work great as they are.



    iCal doesn't work great with a Mobile me account



    As for pages, keynote and numbers editors? I wouldn't hold me breath. I doubt Apple wants to give the iPhone those types of capabilities. Editing a document on a phone just doesn't seen like Steve's style to me. Wait for Mac touch for that jazz.
  • Reply 6 of 35
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Looks better than the Windows Notes client. Not that that's hard.



    Can't see what IBM has in common with Apple, not now anyway. Apple makes computers and easy to use software, IBM used to make computers and still makes badly designed software.
  • Reply 7 of 35
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    Looks better than the Windows Notes client. Not that that's hard.



    Can't see what IBM has in common with Apple, not now anyway. Apple makes computers and easy to use software, IBM used to make computers and still makes badly designed software.



    Well if they want to develop software for the iPhone they have something in common, they both like the iPhone. It's good enough for me.
  • Reply 8 of 35
    Gee, thanks IBM, great that we may be able to conveniently use iNotes via the iPhone. For email, this may even be ok (in conjunction with imap/smtp.)

    For contacts and calendar (not to mention: tasks) data synchronization is definitely a must for any serious enterprise usage, though. Anyone having successfully set up a solution for this?
  • Reply 9 of 35
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Oh god ... notes.
  • Reply 10 of 35
    boogabooga Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    iCal doesn't work great with a Mobile me account



    As for pages, keynote and numbers editors? I wouldn't hold me breath. I doubt Apple wants to give the iPhone those types of capabilities. Editing a document on a phone just doesn't seen like Steve's style to me. Wait for Mac touch for that jazz.



    Maybe not editors... but I think a Keynote player that could display over the video out on the docking port would be pretty hot.
  • Reply 11 of 35
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Maybe not editors... but I think a Keynote player that could display over the video out on the docking port would be pretty hot.



    Yeah, for those who need it it would be hot to them.
  • Reply 12 of 35
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,008member
    I didn't know there was still a Lotus Notes out there. I had to use it in the late 90's and it was terrible. Besides IBM who uses it?
  • Reply 13 of 35
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by razorpit View Post


    I didn't know there was still a Lotus Notes out there. I had to use it in the late 90's and it was terrible. Besides IBM who uses it?



    Yea, I though Gates ordered the last of em to be round up and shot years ago...
  • Reply 14 of 35
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,901member
    I see some silly negativity here.



    What must be understood is that whether one likes a certain program or not is of no importance. There are those who do use these programs.



    IBM is very much a force to be contended with in industry. Now that they've divested themselves of their PC unit, they are much freer to invest in Apple's products.



    IBM is known for being agnostic towards products, as long as they meet customers needs. If IBM feels as though the Mac and iPhone are a good bet, then we should be happy about that fact, instead of complaining about it.



    If IBM can manage to integrate more Macs into their own environment, then their customers will feel as though that's a safer thing to do.



    Remember that IBM sells services. Those services are heavily enterprise oriented. Some of those services involve selling computers as part of the solution. The more IBM (and other's) business software is available on Macs and iPhones, the more IBM can sell them to customers, and they will.



    If other companies see IBM working on Apple products for themselves, the more likely they will think it's acceptable.



    The complaining about IBM's software therefore is pointless, as the more business software that is available for Apple's products, the more they will be selected to replace PCs.



    And that's a good thing.
  • Reply 15 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    What must be understood is that whether one likes a certain program or not is of no importance. There are those who do use these programs.



    Yep, well said.



    Quote:

    Remember that IBM sells services. Those services are heavily enterprise oriented. Some of those services involve selling computers as part of the solution. The more IBM (and other's) business software is available on Macs and iPhones, the more IBM can sell them to customers, and they will.



    Off topic, but imagine if IBM said that they would offer business/enterprise support for Macs & OSX.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    The more IBM (and other's) business software is available on Macs and iPhones



    Again: We're talking about a web application here, not about an actual iPhone app!
  • Reply 17 of 35
    seanjseanj Posts: 68member
    @ GregAlexander - yup IBM are looking to do a native application for the iPhone, equivalent to the Notes Traveller they produced for Windows mobile. I think one of the issues up to recently had been how to get notifications pushed thru' to a background application but Apple seem to have a solution ready for developers...



    @eAi, abrooks, razorpit, DaveGee

    Suprised to see Microsoft stooges lurking on an Apple forum...



    Guess you're still thinking of the Notes from 1999... perhaps you should have a look at Notes 8, the latest version, which is now Eclipse based and has been winning awards for its look and UI...



    http://www-306.ibm.com/software/lotu...ewinnotes.html



    IBM's recent press release shows that Notes is not just holding its own against Exchange/Sharepoint/lots-of-othe-bits-cobbled-together but increasing its customer base;



    http://www.marketwire.com/press-rele...BM-884845.html



    The other Lotus products, Sametime, Quickr, Connections, Foundations, usually trounce Redmond's alternatives in independent evaluations, which is why for example Sametime is the largest corporate IM software by market-share.



    All IBM's desktop products are moving to Eclipse, which will make them rapidly available for Win32, Win64, Mac OS X, and Linux desktops....

    http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pr...ease/24825.wss
  • Reply 18 of 35
    Quote:

    "The original Lotus, which IBM purchased in 1995, stumbled in the mid 80s in part due to its weak support for the new Macintosh. The company then held a lock on the DOS spreadsheet market with Lotus 1-2-3, but its equivalent product for Apple's new Mac, called Lotus Jazz, failed miserably in part due to its lack of following Apple's human interface guidelines. Jazz was also expensive, late, and buggy."



    You can't seriously believe that?? The influence of the Mac in the marketplace in the mid 80s (maybe before some other posters were even born?) was less than negligible. Lotus was an incredible cash machine in its day, but IBM bought them after their peak years. And then Microsoft set their sights on the Office market, used every advantage they had, and the rest is history. Even if Jazz had been a great product (which it wasn't), it would have played no role in IBM/Lotus's eventually being relegated to the dustbin.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    seanjseanj Posts: 68member
    " it would have played no role in IBM/Lotus's eventually being relegated to the dustbin"



    still no idea where this Redmond-peddled perception persists, its akin to saying to Apple Mac's have a declining market-share (ie the opposite is the truth)....



    from the press-release I posted to earlier...



    "With 15 consecutive quarters of revenue growth, IBM's flagship Lotus Notes and Domino ... Lotus Notes and Domino adoption has grown to more than 140 million licenses... more than half of the largest 100 corporations in the world, 80 percent of the top 10 global companies in banking, telecommunications, aerospace and defense, consumer products, electronics, insurance, and pharmaceuticals."



    some 'dustbin'!!!
  • Reply 20 of 35
    iferdiferd Posts: 20member
    I guess this has been said, but perhaps not quite so plainly.



    For some of us, Lotus Notes is what we must use for email and calendaring because that's what our organizations have adopted. It makes no difference whether Mail and iCal are great or not - they aren't options for our business needs. I for one would love to be able to ditch the BlackBerry I've been issued and carry only my iPhone. But I can't do that so long as there is no way for me to interact in real time with Lotus Notes for email and calendaring.



    We're using Notes 7.0.2 in my organization. It would be nice to find that the comments about version 8 are true. It's coming to us someday, or so the story goes. But even so, that alone won't help with the iPhone.
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