Lotus CEO Jeff Papows last month straight-out promised customers they would get the long-delayed 5.0 versions of Notes and Domino before the end of February.
Two weeks ago an apologetic Papows was forced to eat that high-profile pledge and reset the shipment target by one month.
The latest delay embarrasses Lotus and inconveniences customers. It also gives archrival Microsoft more room to breathe as its next Exchange upgrade, code-named Platinum, stands queued behind the mother of all late software products, Windows 2000.
On January 18, Papows told about 10,000 Lotusphere attendees in Orlando: "We need two or three more weeks of polishing. You will have the product, I promise you, in February."
But in a statement posted on the company's Web site (http://www. lotus.com/home.nsf/welcome/ newsview) Papows broke that promise. "Although no new major problem has emerged . . . we need a few more weeks to wind down the final stage of development and the build cycle," Papows wrote.
Lotus first outlined a fourth-quarter 1997 delivery timetable for Version 5.0 of Notes and Domino when the upgrade plans were unveiled at Lotusphere in January 1997.
While there has been grumbling from some Lotus customers, most have taken the delays in stride.
"Sure, people have waited a long time, but Lotus should get it right and make it the product they have promised it will be before they release it," says Bruce Reed, manager of technical services at Intrinsa in California.
Timing issues aside, the Notes 5.0 beta code has been buggy and prone to crash. Reed says this has dampened his enthusiasm for rushing it into deployment once Lotus finally gets it out the door.
"We're probably going to hold off doing anything with R5 this year," he says, noting that year 2000 projects are taking precedence over most IT projects at his company.