Microsoft Exchange overtook Lotus Notes in new user licence sales for the first time in its history, according to new figures released by IDC.
According to the IDC research, Microsoft Exchange captured 5.7 million new users worldwide, pipping Lotus Notes which attracted 5.3 million new users in the first half of 1998.
However, Lotus Domino and Notes still dominates the groupware market in terms of total worldwide users, which reached 21.9 million by June this year, compared to 15 million using Exchange. In the trailing pack were Novell GroupWise with 12.4 million users, Netscape SuiteSpot ICE with 5.2 million and SoftArc FirstClass with 4.2 million.
Rebecca Wetteman, IDC senior analyst for European collaborative technologies, said Notes was still leading the market in Europe, in terms of installed base and new deployment. "Notes is ahead of Exchange for new users in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden, which represents more than 60% of the market," she said.
"Microsoft has been closing the gap by offering enterpise licences, which makes it politically difficult for users not to take Exchange as part of their enterprise software policy. But it still lags far behind Notes." Wetteman predicted the future of the European groupware market hangs in the balance as users migrate from mail-only software such as cc:Mail and MS Mail to complete groupware packages. "User decisions in the coming months will be critical," she said. "Lotus is already offering a lot of support and reacting to users needs in terms of services. Microsoft will respond to that."
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