Monday, February 11, 2008

Let me Compare thee to a....pinball machine

So this Lotus vs. Microsoft discussion gets old does it?

While not as old as the Middle East conflicts, Yankees vs. Redsox, Hatfields/McCoys or ex-British Empire Countries suing for their art and artifacts. It goes to show that something of importance can never really die in the minds of people throughout the world, even over cebnturies.

And so it was in Pinball.

I am restoring (making it useful and clean and power efficient, not 100% strip the paint restoration) a 1979 Bally Future Spa pinball.

Over the last 75 years there were many similar arguments going on wether Bally, Gottlieb or later Williams were superior. Advanced designs, louder, wider, faster game plays. You get the idea.

In the end, they all merged because the market was taken over by "video games".
A brief merger of the main ones then Data East grew out of the ashes of the previous companies, today the pinball world is just a very niche, but fun, product line.

Do I think the same will occur in this case? Highly unlikely unless Microsoft or IBM was willing to sell off their messaging servers and I think we can all agree that is not happenning. But the argumenst will run forever.

But what if Microsoft is the Data East of Messaging. They keep buying everyone until there is only 1 last contender and then Lotus eventually folds? I don't bet on this scenario.

Or may this exact endgame happen to Microsoft and Lotus wins the battle. And when Lotus/IBM does win, isn't it because Domino is much more than mail in the end and that is where the ROI on your messaging system is expected, when it is part of your entire business solution, not just another box you MUST install because of some companies blueprint for how to run your infrastrcuture.

Tune in about 10-15 years from now to find out.