July 9 2006
Well the news was embargoed until two minutes ago (EDT), and CRN already has posted their story, so seeing as how I've been doing some of the press interviews on this, I might as well write about it....
On Monday, IBM is officially announcing Lotus Notes for Linux. A Notes 7 client running on a Linux desktop was originally announced at Linuxworld 2005. At the time, IBM indicated that the Notes 7 client on Linux would run as a plug-in to the IBM Workplace Managed client, and the details released since then have indicated that this would be part of the Workplace client's 2.6.1 release.
The news today is somewhat different, and might be quite surprising. The requirement for IBM Workplace software deployment has been removed -- and what IBM will ship is a stand-alone Lotus Notes on Linux client. No Workplace server required for provisioning, no separate deployment of the Workplace managed client required. It's Lotus Notes, running on Linux. Initially, support for RHEL 4. SUSE Linux Desktop will follow. There are features that won't work -- no integrated Sametime (coming in "Hannover"), smarticons, color printing, a couple of others -- but for the vast majority of use cases, Notes for Linux is now a viable alternative.
Details are now available on ibm.com/lotus. The software will be downloadable via Passport Advantage starting on July 24, 2006. The licensing works the same as Notes on Windows or Notes on Mac -- and the agnostic nature of the Notes license means you can swap use of an existing Notes on Windows installation for a Notes on Linux environment.
In the press interviews I've done on this announcement so far, one of the common questions have been -- where is the demand for Notes on Linux coming from? I've responded that this market need was first expressed to me at the first DNUG meeting I attended in May, 2001, at which time I said "there will never be a classic Lotus Notes client for Linux". Well, I am learning--to never say "never".
Update 1: It took me long enough to type this that CNET has posted their story on Notes on Linux.
Update 2: The Boston Globe story: IBM unveils Lotus Notes for users of Linux is now online
Update 3: More links: InternetNews.com, ComputerWorld/NetworkWorld, CIO.com, Heise Online (auf Deutsch, 160 comments, though not all of them good!) Slashdot, eWeek Channel Insider
Update 4: Brazil's IDG and InfoOnline have picked up and translated the coverage. (Obrigado, Daniel)
Update 5: The Red Herring covers the story
Update 6: Tons more coverage -- can't link to everything. Compuerworld.com.au, and even Nana Israel (in Hebrew).