IBM Domino support #3 - Responsibility and legacy

I’ve been accused of writing dribble, trying to dig up a story when none exists and a few comments on my postings about Lotus Domino support have even suggested I get a new job and a life.

IBM is a commercial company. It’s in the business to make money. And it makes money by selling software, hardware and services to its customers.

Whatever it does will affect customers and users – the people who buy, install, run and support IBM products in their companies. Some of its actions will be well received; some won’t.

Here on this website and Computer Weekly, a magazine I have been writing on since 1998, I have a responsbility to make sure the voice of the user is heard above all the marketing bumph.

Not everyone wants to move onto the latest thing, which probably annoys the pants off the sales people in big IT companies. So legacy software and hardware remain in use long after support has expired and people find ingenious methods to keep these things running.

So I don’t think it is at all unusual for companies to try to run unsupported software on new platforms. It’s not up to me to judge the wisdom of their IT configuration choices or the financial situation that has influenced their decisions.

If, as some commentators have said:

these [IT] companies don’t have the resources to maintain software that’s 5 years old. Priority is placed on new and improved software that will run on current OS’s.

And so it maybe unrealistic to expect IBM to support old software on a new OS like Vista, perhaps someone else can.

Now here’s a an idea for IBM. If you don’t want to support old versions, why not make the code open source and let other companies and your customers take a stab at supporting these products themselves.