Tuesday, 20 November 2012

BlackBerry is dead. Notes is dead.

OK admit it. You came to this article because of the headline didn't you?
Well it seems this is the way lazy journalists entice people in. Put up an attention grabbing headline, start off writing something pretty boring and soon people will drift away taking with them the subconscious idea that the headline was right.
I've been hearing the "Notes is dead" mantra for a long time now. At least 10 years, probably longer. Well I've been in the Notes arena now for nearly 20 years and Notes is about as dead as it was when it first launched.
I've been in the BlackBerry arena a lot shorter of a time span - only 4 years - but even from the inside I see no death in it's future.
Going back to the lazy journalists:
  • eWeek - IBM Drops Lotus Brand, Takes Notes and Domino Forward
  • ITBusiness - IBM quietly kills its Lotus brand
  • NetWork World - IBM kills Lotus brand, readies beta of Notes/Domino Social Edition
  • PCWorld - IBM kills Lotus brand, readies Notes/Domino Social Edition 
  • TechWeek Europe - IBM Drops Lotus Brand
  • The Register - IBM drops Lotus brand from next version of Notes
Notice the key phrases? What they are trying to imply is that they are killing Notes/Domino. What is actually happening is a name change. But changing a name doesn't make headlines and sell Ad space. The closest we get it from The Register. But then again, they specialise it fact checking.
The people I hear who are saying that Notes is dead, are the ones who don't get it. Whether they have had a bad experience with systems in the past, or whether they simply haven't made the switch from the mindset that Notes is only email.
As to BlackBerry being dead; I was on the bus home a few weeks back and there was a teenager in the seat in front of me. He was complaining that his BlackBerry (an 8520) had lousy battery life and kept locking up. I could see his screen as he waved it around in front of his friends. He had icons for WiFi and Bluetooth enabled and as he scrolled down the screen there were pages and pages of icons. Must have been about 8 pages worth. I dread to think how many of those were permanently active. It seems that the people who declare BlackBerry dead are suffering from the same problem. They don't get it.
It seems the problem with both stems from the same fact. People don't understand technology. Or don't want to. So instead they opt for the solution where everything is done for them - at a premium price. How do you deal with sheep like that? Training? Awareness? Or by getting Developers properly trained to write applications that are simple and easy for users with limited attention spans. But that takes time and effort. A lot of Devs don't have that luxury.

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