Lotus is considering dropping support of cc:Mail, Versions 5.0 and lower, sources close to the company can confirm.
The potentially risky move is being weighed to spur older Lotus messaging users into newer versions of cc:Mail or onto the Notes/Domino platform.
If Lotus adopts a policy to curtail support for users of its older e-mail systems, it could either spur them to upgrade into Lotus' waiting arms, or propel them into competing camps.
As with many things, timing is everything to both Lotus and its installed messaging base. Users may be tempted to postpone potentially disruptive e-mail migration projects until after any year-2000 problems are ironed out.
And e-mail migration issues can provoke a ripple effect of decisions, such as server type and hardware, speed of desktop hardware, directory strategies, storage needs, as well as thorny network issues. Many applications are also affected by e-mail.
For cc:Mail users of Version 2.x, the need to move off the system is especially acute due to the expected year-2000 troubles associated with the older systems' DB6 message store.
Lotus officials said that a final decision had not yet been reached on what level of support to continue to extent to various cc:Mail versions.
In the meantime, Microsoft and Novell have countered with migration incentives for cc:Mail users to switch to Exchange Server of GroupWise, respectively.
As many as 20 million corporate worldwide e-mail seats are up for migration from cc:Mail, Microsoft Mail, and older host-based systems such as IBM PROFS and Digital's All-in-One. Some 60 per cent of those users' changing systems will go to either Notes or Exchange, analysts said, prompting a bitter and burgeoning tussle between the major vendors for those users.
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