IBM Says 'Nuts' To Microsoft - InformationWeek

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IBM Says 'Nuts' To Microsoft

ATLANTA--In the film "The Battle of the Bulge," a surrounded American officer dismisses a German ultimatum. "Nuts," he says. IBM said the same to Microsoft on Monday with the unveiling at PartnerWorld 2001 of iNotes Access for Microsoft Outlook.

With the iNotes software, IT managers can run iSeries (formerly AS/400) Lotus Domino messaging or mail servers with Microsoft Outlook, the client interface for Microsoft Exchange. Lotus essentially is tricking Outlook into thinking that Domino servers are Exchange servers. Microsoft could lose a good bit of business through this move: IBM estimates that 70% of its iSeries customers use Windows NT servers to handle apps such as Exchange. IBM worked for three years on integrating Windows NT. Now it's on the attack.

IT managers "want to reduce the cost of ... running their server farms," says Ian Jarman, iSeries product marketing manager. IBM says iNotes customers will save money when they no longer have to maintain networks of Windows NT servers that serve thousands of messaging clients. ISeries Domino customers are supporting 10,000 users from a single machine.

Consultant Thomas Stockwell at Andrews Consulting Group has already "watched some of these NT server farms dwindle down to a single iSeries server." While he doesn't think the iNotes feature will compel execs overseeing simple E-mail to switch, "now Outlook customers can choose Domino with workflow processing and knowledge management."

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