Twenty years of Lotus and Microsoft

Maybe add one to two years to that title for Microsoft but I don’t really count the DOS days – especially coming from a Commodore family. To go along with all of the other radical  zones being declared (link1, link2, link3) I figured I would throw my two cents.

I am declaring a “Reality Zone“!

I started as a Windows developer, learned the SDK at the C level, got into some C++ and eventually a little MFC but I always like the C SDK the best. I have pretty much always used MS Windows from day one, yes even 3.0. Which is exactly the same version I started with Lotus Notes, yep 3.0! When 4.x came out I basically became a Notes then Domino developer over night and the rest was history.

I loved being “in touch” in an intimate manner with both technologies as I saw the value in both Notes applications and native windows applications. I even did a short stint with Delphi and Ada – not in either camp.

I have actually tried three different times in that twenty years to switch to Linux as my primary operating system, unfortunately it could not keep up with Microsoft quality and I always thought Mac’s were too expensive so I never even tried. I always went back to Windows.

Interestingly enough, I no longer see that value on either side. The paradigm has shifted to cheaper software, web based applications, and mobile. The tablet in my opinion has truly upset the “apple” cart. I see more and more value in commodity email user interfaces than ever before. The email and calendar UI for example on an iPad/iPhone is fine for 98% of all work. And mobile applications is something both IBM and Microsoft see a lot of value in. They are both taking slightly different angles as Apple and Google are apparently running the show. In the end, I think IBM has it a little easier because they are not in the operating system or mobile device markets and just stick to software. Microsoft, on the other hand, is clearly getting their lunch eaten by Apple and Google on many fronts – office, os, mobile, etc.

So in the end, I applaud anyone who sticks to ‘one company’ or plays both sides (and picks and chooses) because I think people should be able to do whatever the hell they want and even communicate that.


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