You might don’t like what you read here …

… if you are from Microsoft.

There was a webcast about the end of Microsofts SBS held by Collax a few days ago. It looks like, SBS will be gone by the end of 2013. If you want to continue to use a Microsoft Collaboration product after that, you have to get Exchange or go Cloud. As we have all realised by now, the cloud kills the Business Partner – except if you go for the cloud yourself. On the other hand, that end of SBS just might be the chance to get more business.
Some of you who are as old as I am will still remember Lotus Foundations. An IBM product aimed at the SMB market that included Domino. The licensing was more like an enterprise server. You were allowed to run your website on Domino and you got the Outlook connector, too, until the later was killed. There were quite a few interesting tools in the works, which you were able to run on those boxes and from my point of view, it had the best backup and recovery system ever. As it happens, this site still runs on Foundations. Yes, I know, I should have switched everything to Collax by now, but you know how it is, as long as something just runs without making any troubles at all, one does not see the point really – except for the hard disk crash once in a while, which is almost a non event, because the recovery procedure is so incredible easy, that after a few minutes the network is back in business and two hours later you have already forgotten about it. Most of the time it took me longer to find out that the hard disk crashed, than doing the restore.
But, IBM was too early again. If they had continued just another two years, they could have  a winner by now. And here we come to another BUT.
During the Collax webcast they should the result of the yearly Techchannel „study“ about the most popular collaboration server products.
1. Exchange 2010
2. Zarafa
3. Novell Groupewise
4. Kerio Connect
5. Exchange 2007
6. Oracle Behive
7. Lotus Notes

8. Zimbra
Oh bugger. Even Exchange 2007 was racked higher than Notes and even Oracle Beehive. A product I have yet to hear something positive about. My point is, even if IBM wanted to compete with Microsoft in the SMB market, nobody would look. It might be that somebody at IBM always thinks, that if IBM so much as harrumphs, everybody just looks what great news comes from IBM. That, I am sorry, just isn’t the case. IBM does make a lot of money with a rather small number of companies, just those big enough to appear on the radar. But if you talk to anybody on the street about IBM it’s always the same. IBM expensive, IBM arrogant, „What? They still have Notes?“. The general public just does not take notice from IBM in the market.

And now comes this. Zarafa must have used an old one. May I present the 2012 Techchannel study:

1. MS Exchange 2010
2. Zarafa
3. IBM Lotus Notes

(They know about Notes/Domino. I think they write Notes, because nobody knows what Domino is)

While this still makes Zarafa happy, that should make us happy, too. But why did it happen? Anybody an idea, why suddenly Notes is in third place?

But since we are already here together, You probably have customers who want to keep their Outlook client, here is something to ease your pain, the Collax Groupware Suite. It has almost everything, that your customers need and more. Backup is there, a pretty good firewall with the best firewall administration tool, I have seen until today. Most users will never realise, that they are not working on a Microsoft server anymore and until the end of January, you get 15% of.
Should you have the need for high availability, you might want to talk to Collax about their Cluster based on KVM (proudly supported by IBM, Intel, RedHat and many more). There is the possibility to get a two node cluster for the Group Ware Suite with embedded SAN, but limited to two virtual machines for a very reasonable price … which means free (AFAIK). That’s probably the best offer ever, because the Collax virtualization is really cool. You learn to set it up in no time (I did and that’s a little wonder). If you move your customers away from SBS, consider to do it with high availability. Its worth it.
Since the limitation is for TWO virtual machines. Why not deploying a XWork Server for some nice XPages apps?

Should you ever want to buy a fridge or something from Siemens … don’t

It is annoying. Siemens house hold appliances keep breaking down and the repair service is lousy. At least in Switzerland.
After 4 years the oven/microwave combination broke down. Service technician comes, looks at it, does not have the module required, in spite of having all the information about the darn thing beforehand, leaves and comes again a few days later. If we hadn’t complained, they would have charged two house calls.
Now the fridge has problems. In the forums people know all about this fridge. Another module known for breaking down. Phone call to customer service and it is the same story. Very unfriendly experience and we are apparently the only customers ever having problems (but the service technician is booked for weeks in advance).
We have a induction stove from Siemens, too. Oh, how I hate the thing (it’s me who does most of the cooking). Should you ever need a new stove and you want induction – which is a good thing – think about professional stuff with rotary switches and big enough cooking fields that sense the position of the pan. Touch controls are the most stupid invention in kitchen technology since men (or women) discovered cooking over fire. The spaghetti tasting hook from Alessi comes second, but by a wide margin.
Anything else you don’t want for Xmas? Oh yes, funny aprons with assorted chef’s hat. Selections of strange spices you are not going to use in ten years, wooden tea bag boxes and cooking kits for mexican, sushi or roasted dodo Papua New Guinea style. The latest vegetable cutting device from any home shopping channel is high up the list, too and so are ugly vases, coffee or tea sets and the famous Alessi orange press that looks like a rocket from a 60’s comic book. Perfumed candles (your house smells), soap (you smell), socks (your feet smell) or a Wall Mart voucher (I don’t like you enough to think about a personal gift) are anyway out of the question.
Have a nice weekend.

Oh my … are you big!

Yesterday I went to a Swisscom shop, just to touch and feel the Lumina 920 and the iPhone 5 and I ended up getting Swisscom TV, but this is besides the point.

My verdict after just taking it in the hand? The Lumina is to big for my hands. It just does not fit. I don’t want to press a huge thing like that on the ear. I believe I would end up with a blue tooth head set. My wife thought the same. I don’t think, that the Lumina will be the big hit with women.
Vowe said it is very robust. Can’t comment on that, I don’t think Swisscom would like it, if I dropped it several times in the shop, but it does not feel robust. It feels plastic.
I can’t comment on the functions and stuff, because my in depth test was interupted by a very nice sales woman, that just wanted to ask me a question … good approach. Now we have the free Swisscom TV service and got a hundred francs off the price for the two wireless routers we need for the connection. Our TV is worth less. Now we can finally throw out the satellite dish.
As for the iPhone 5 … couldn’t test it, it’s sold out. But I had the iPad mini in my hands. While it is also very big for just one hand, I would not use it like a phone. Pretty good toy, if you ask me. I think I want have … or the iPad forth gen … or the mini? Decisions, decisions, decisions.

But since we are on it. Vowe and others are always talking about the cameras. I think my iPhone 4 camera is crap. I couln’t even take a sharp picture of my little daughter during the last ice skating test. The one in the iPad 2 isn’t very good either. Some My-First-Camera for kids are better.
I am pretty sure, that they allready thought about it, but Nikon should really do it. The CoolPix Phone. That’s something I would rather buy. At least in that case, I would have a decent camera with a mediocre phone and not a mediocre phone with a joke for a camera. I still like the iPhone for it’s other features, though.

Does anybody know if the NDA for the beta members for IBM Notes 9 is lifted? I really would like to talk about it.