Why we blog about what we blog about

Published Oct 25 2004 04:47 PM 422 Views

We've been asked many times over the last several months why we don't talk about our competition in the Exchange blog, and I wanted to take an opportunity to explain why. The purpose of this blog is to help Exchange customers with Exchange; blogging about the competition does not serve that purpose. We read the same press stories and blogs that you all do and we are not ignoring them, but we do not see value in blogging about them. We are just a bunch of of developers, testers, program managers and writers trying to help out our customers and improve our product. :-)

We're not ignoring this kind of stuff, but we are simply taking a different approach than others.  One approach is to help customers compare products via our webpage comparison info at:  http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/compare/

As always, we use the (positive and negative) feedback we get from this blog and read on other blogs and in the news to help improve Exchange, so keep it coming! This blog has been a fantastic feedback tool for the product and the team, thanks for reading and commenting.

- KC Lemson

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Why would anyone expect you to talk about the competition? If you did and just kept saying how much better Exchange is, then your credibility would go down. Providing a balanced analysis is pointless too, I would rather go to a third party for independent comparisons. As you said, the whole point is to talk about Exchange, so that is what I expect to read.
Keep up the good work. Exchange 2K3 is great!
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As an example of how good Exchange is, my initial reaction was that there is no competitors for Exchange. Sure there are mail servers for non-Windows servers and even some Windows too, but none of them really compare because Exchange is more than just a mail server. It has become the heart of communications at many companies (including mine) and I really can't see using anything else.
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Wow, Don - thanks for the compliments! I will pass this on to the team.
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KC, I think your team has a refreshing approach, the alternative (http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/10252004074938PMEBR2Z5.htm) honestly strikes me as kind of pathetic.
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"As an example of how good [Domino] is, my initial reaction was that there is no competitors for [Domino]. Sure there are mail servers for non-Windows servers and even some Windows too, but none of them really compare because [Domino]is more than just a mail server[!] It has become the heart of communications at many companies (including mine) and I really can't see using anything else."
Hey, someone was going to say it. Why not me?
Blogs are an excellent format to interact with customers. You get valuable feedback, and the readers feel part of a much larger community. It's really amazing how much my business has changed since the Internet arrived (that's about 1996 for me).
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Your(...) blog is a must read for me every day.
There should be a similar blog for other technologies - for example AD...
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Now this sounds nothing short of self-serving to me. Every system has its quirks and problems and the MS/Exchange environment has more than the fair share. And it is an e-mail tool. Nothing more. Nothing less.

For example, from my posting
"Microsoft, FUD, and Vaporware: Are They The Only Bad Guy Here?"

"I have a former client from my days at Lotus that is up in North Carolina. They were looking for an experienced Notes Developer to come in and manage two applications we had built for them. One was a Benefits Enrollment System that is way to complicated in its architecture to explain here, and the other was a web-based time entry system that was used by over 1,300 units in North America (and I venture to say that many of you have been inside one or more of these units, as have many Microsofties. However, this shop was being migrated to .Net as they followed a Microsoft DNA and had already switched to Outlook for mail (based on direction from the corporate level). But guess what? They walked away from .Net because they could not get it to do what they needed and they decided to go with WebSphere. As much as higher management wanted .Net, the "only applications that worked worth a hoot and did what they were supposed to do" (saving the corporation millions of dollars a year) were the two applications that we at Lotus Professional Services (Now IBM Software Services for Lotus) built for them. I don't seem to see that anywhere in the Microsoft "Press", but then again I do not see that story coming out of IBM either.

So what do we do about it? Are we at fault for not speaking out more forcefully to right the errors that are published by companies such as Microsoft? Do we become blinded by our loyalty to one product or another that we only see the negatives? Do we as software professionals have ethical obligations in making our decisions and recommendations as well? You bet we do,"

I read Scoble's blog as well as other Microsoft related blogs. If something stinks, no matter who the vendor, I call them out on my blog.

If you really are going to get good feedback and truly learn the advantages/limitations of your systems, then there is no reason *NOT* to discuss other products.

If a company needs nothing more than email, then I might recommend Exchange. If they want to go beyond that into true collaborative applications that truly integrated (without a bunch of expensive add-ons), ARE BACKWARD COMPATIBLE AND DO NOT REQUIRE RIP AND REPLACE EVERY TIME THERE IS AN UPGRADE, are scalable and stable, there is no way I would point them to MS/Exchange/.Net. I might not point them to IBM Software either, but defintely not MS.

There is a link above pointing to the Compare web page, which includes the Meta Group Study entitled "Domino Storage: What Can Be Done?".

If you read this document, from a non-trusted "Analyst Group for Hire" (and I criticize any report issued by a group like this without full disclosure of who paid for it, no matter what side it favors), you will find one line that shows exactly why Domino is a superior platform for searching, archiving and backup recovery:

"Corporate lawyers often react in horror when
apprised of the amount of stored e-mail due to concerns over “smoking gun” messages that may be exposed in a court-ordered discovery process."

Heaven forbid that an e-mail tool actually aid compliance with regulatory agencies and court orders! A company like Microsoft or Peoplesoft might actually be held accountable for their actions. It is called sound corporate governance.

"Organizations must proactively address Domino storage issues or face a persistent demand for
additional storage space. Unlimited e-mail storage threatens SLA adherence, generates additional storage expenditures, and creates legal vulnerabilities."

This applies to any and all vendors and don't kid yourselves or others in thinking that it does. Remeber that in an exchange environment, it only takes a problem with one user to bring the entire mail system to its knees. In Domino, only that one user is impacted.

So my challenge is to not be myopic. If you really think your products are better, compare them in writing. Accept the invitation from "Inbox East" to debate the merits of the platform in public. Don't be afraid to air your dirty laundry, you might find it is more helpful.
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KC & the EHLO Team:

Keep up the good work. There are plenty of other sites which cover the pros and cons of competitive systems. What I want from you guys is what you're already providing -- excellent in-depth info on all things Exchange. Keep it informative and free of marketing hype and everyone (well... almost everyone) will be happy.


Jeff Centimano
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100 % agree with you . We dont need to compare products here . we need in depth technical details how exchange works ,not sales or bench mark stuff .
Blogs about Exchange scripting which can be stepping stone for numerous exchange admins to know how easily sctipts can help to manage their beloved servers .
raveendran AT gmail DOT com
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