updated 04:40 pm EDT, Fri August 17, 2007
Lotus ND8 coming to Mac
On Friday, IBM released Lotus Notes Domino 8 for Windows Vista and XP, but said that the Mac version would not be released until next year. The new release features a redesigned user experience, a new look and feel, as well as dramatically enhanced functionality for organizing messages and threads with the intent of structuring inboxes to deal with floods of email. A Mac OS X release was conspicuously absent from the announcement, however. We spoke with IBM the story behind current Mac development of Lotus ND8, when we can expect a release, and what users look forward to in the update. The IBM executives we spoke with said that Louts Notes Domino's stronghold in the Mac universe is with advertising/publishing agencies and educational institutions. However, they described a "new cachet" surrounding Macs in business, and says they "see the growth" already underway on an enterprise level. To that end, the company is investing heavily in developing the next release, ND8, for the Mac. "We want to get it right," IBM told MacNN. "In fact, the version we're currently running on a widescreen iMac looks better than the Windows release."
"Frankly, we haven't done a great job with some previous releases," IBM officials said. "7.0.2 was a huge improvement, but some of the previous releases fell short." IBM said that while previous releases might have had 80% feature parity with Windows releases, ND8 for Mac OS X should have nearly 100% feature parity.
IBM also said that it has been target testing for Leopard, and what's to ensure compatibility with the upcoming OS iteration, due this Fall.
Another factor that is holding the Mac version of Lotus ND8 back but should result in a better user experience when the product ships is the use of the Eclipse development framework. IBM says it has been working with Apple to make sure that Eclipse development is aligned with other platform releases.
The company says that a private beta of ND8 for Mac OS X will ship alongside Leopard this Fall, and a more formal announcement will likely come at the Lotus Sphere conference which kicks off January 21st in Disney World.