Worldwide sales of Lotus Notes lag those of Microsoft Exchange by 673,000 individual user licences for the first half of 1999, according to a report released last week by International Data Corp (IDC).
Ken Bisconti, Lotus Development's Notes marketing manager, was unconcerned. Microsoft's sales tend to rise in the first half of the year, and Lotus' rise in the second half, he said.
Doug Stumberger, a Microsoft Exchange Server product manager, agreed: "It wouldn't surprise me to see the lead switch in the second half."
According to Microsoft, the report shows sales of licences for its Exchange product climbed from 3.95 million in the first quarter to 4.14 million in the second.
The two software vendors disagreed on further interpretation of the report. Bisconti said he expects Lotus will continue to "maintain our 8 to 10 million seat edge in installed base".
Growing numbers from the large pool of cc:Mail users are using year 2000 readiness as "a chance to rethink (their) messaging strategy", Stumberger said.
"We haven't seen any negative effects on sales [because of] Y2K," he said. "Everyone predicted a drop in sales, but we've just come off the best two quarters we've ever had."
Notes sales for the quarter were up 28 per cent over the same quarter last year and growing "faster than the overall messaging marketplace," Bisconti said.
Novell was a distant third with 2.7 million sales worldwide so far in 1999.