Since Apple came out with Lion, I don’t get it. Why can Apple ship a Notes.app without IBM going bananas about it? It causes a whole lot of problems with the Notes we like. Notes is a registered trade mark with IBM (I looked it up). IBM has known this for month and worked closely with Apple to solve it technically. Apple can’t claim „sorry, we did not know“. Somebody at Apple has certainly seen Notes before. Somehow that does not make sense, at least not to me, unless …
… there is a bigger plan. I thought to myself (yes, OK, some might say, I should have kept it to myself, too), maybe this was done on purpose?
Our Notes is good at … notes. It’s a great tool to store and manage „unstructured“ data. Notes.app is good at … well … storing unstructured data. IBM is good at large server deployments, cloud services, social software, databases, big hardware and is focused on business products. IBM isn’t best at client design. That’s a point we could argue over for weeks, I just think, that the Notes client is in need of a complete work-over, not just a new coat of paint.
Apple is good at end user hardware, end user software and UI-design, mobile devices and some content. Apple isn’t very good at servers and server software. iCloud isn’t about being social and apple is focused on consumer products.
Apple and IBM don’t compete in a lot of places and they certainly don’t compete in their core products.
What if IBM and Apple would work together? Imagine this. Next time you buy a Mac, iPad or iPhone, you get access to Smart Cloud and iNotes (or Connection Mail or Mail or, or, or…). A fully featured social platform that supports various apps on Apples devices and comes from IBM. You can either opt for the open consumer cloud solution, or you go for the business solution for a reasonable price. You could do a hybrid solution with your Domino or Connections installation you already got. I think most of the bits and pieces are there. It’s only about connecting the dots. IBM has OSX- and iOS- clients. Apple has … umph … a nice mail app that does one thing certainly better than Notes, managing several accounts.
Apple and IBM still like UNIX. Apple could build OSX Servers with an automatic deployment of Connections, Domino, Sametime and so on, for smaller companies. IBM could do this for the biggies.
Apple and IBM could work together, to make Notes the best collaboration platform even in the eye of the end user.
IBM wants to add cocoa support to Notes. What for, if not for integrating it more with OSX.
Advantages? Both companies would get into markets, they aren’t very strong and this without competing with the other company and that without cannibalizing their current customer base. They would compete with Facebook, twitter and Microsoft. Both companies products could gain momentum and both could use that.
Disadvantages? They would have to deal closely with each other, which could cause a problem.
IBM would still have to serve the MS community and dancing too close with Apple, could make some people out there pretty angry.
There are probably million pros and cons. Both legal departments would probably stock up on heart medication and tranquilizers, but if both parties wanted, it could be a deal.
Well, so much about a dream. I don’t think it is going to happen, but it sure would be nice.