April 30 2010
Well, today's the day. Notes/Domino 6.5, and thus the 6.x release of the product, have reached their end of service date. IBM promises to provide standard support for our commercial software for a minimum of five years; in the case of Notes/Domino 6.x, that support ran for seven and a half. Our support engineers will not simply hang up the phone if you call with a 6.5 question next week, and extended support is available for a couple of years more, in a variety of options.
My second tour through product management was where I had the opportunity to write the business plan for Notes/Domino 6. The 6.5 release represented an attempt to realign Notes to customer and market requirements, and represented the first attempt at iterating and alternating between client and server focus. That's generally worked since then -- 7.0 was a server-focused release, 8.0 a client-focused release, and 8.5 again a server-focused release.
6.5, or more specifically 6.5.1, was also the one moment where Lotus as a brand decided to align product releases. Quickplace, Sametime, and Domino.Doc all got updated within a 90 day cycle, with the idea of running and supporting all of them concurrently. That made a ton of sense for those customers invested in multiple or all of the Lotus products, but as a strategy, it was extremely limiting for the go-to-market plans for those products.
Though at one time, 6.5 was the vast majority of the Notes/Domino installed base, our support tracking data shows that less than 6% of all PMRs opened in March were related to 6.5. I know, as I've traveled around to LCTYs and user groups recently, there are still customers running 6.5, but planning to upgrade. There are plenty of business partners and our own Lab Services available to help those of you still running 6.5 to move on up.