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IBM vs. Microsoft battles rage on. Does anyone else care?

Colin Steele’s story this week on IBM taking on Microsoft’s SharePoint dominance with Quickr depicts just the latest skirmish in the continual war between two companies going way back to Microsoft Excel vs. Lotus 1-2-3.

It started when Microsoft challenged Lotus’ 1-2-3 spreadsheet dominance with the aforementioned Excel. Then it went after Lotus’ Notes email-and-collaboration success.

Since then much has changed: IBM bought Lotus for big money, for example, but the rivalry continued.

Microsoft took on Lotus Notes in mail-and-collaboration with Exchange Server. Then it switched strategy, deciding to enlist SharePoint its proxy warrior in collaboration, irritating partners that had been encouraged to write tools for Exchange. Anyone remember XSOs?Or Office Designer? Didn’t think so.

A common parlor game each January before Lotusphere was anticipating what Notes-to-Exchange migration tool would be announce that week.

Now IBM says that Quickr can uproot SharePoint in portals/collab. That’s a big statement given how SharePoint has spread like kudzu — largely because Sharepoint licenses are included in volume license agreements.

Anyway, with this Sharepoint-to-Quickr push, what’s old is new again. But somehow it seems desultory. The big question is whether, in this economy and with stressed IT budgets, anyone outside the vendors and their partner partisans care any more about these melees.

Barbara Darrow can be reached at

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