Talk to Lotus' Cliff Reeves about his vendor's decision to discontinue Domino support for Novell's NetWare and one fact immediately becomes crystal clear: Lotus did not consider this a close call.
"Very, very few customers have installed [Domino] 4.5 or 4.6 on NetWare," says Reeves, who is vice president of communications product management. "[NetWare] didn't plummet like a stone, but it had its period where it was strong, and it's been in decline ever since."
Lotus' internal research did not convince company officials that the trend was going to reverse itself.
"When we took a look at what people who had NetWare were doing when they made a messaging or application development decision, we found they were not deploying Domino on NetWare," Reeves said.
"They got NetWare in for file and print serving, and they were moving to NT or Unix in order to deploy those other systems."
Finally, there were technical considerations at play, according to Reeves, particularly in terms of NetWare's Web application capabilities.
"NetWare is a tough platform to develop for technically, and it hadn't really evolved very much," he says. "It was clear that it was falling behind the eight ball as a viable operating system compared with the evolution of NT and Unix. None of these were the single deciding factor, but in aggregate, it made business sense not to continue to implement it."