As Spencer lapped up libations with the legion of Lotus loyalists at Lotusphere in Orlando, he noted wistfully the absence of a Spartacus-like customer revolt at this years event. Instead, damning with faint praise was the order of the day. IBMs next-generation messaging and collaboration platform, Lotus Workplace, the centerpiece of the opening session and most of the conference, got only scattered, polite applause from the jammed Disney Dolphin auditorium.
Michael Rhodin, Lotus vice president of development and technical support, spastically tried to stir up Workplace mania from the stage, but the response remained lackadaisical. "What do they expect?" groused a Domino holdout sitting near the Grimalkin. "The new products not as good as the old one."
Lotus General Manager Ambuj Goyal drew louder applause when he dismissed competitors claims that Lotus was "walking away" from Notes and Domino. "Categorically, nothing could be farther from the truth," thundered Goyal. The Loti gave their warmest reception to "Star Trek" actor and guest speaker Patrick Stewart, causing the Mouser to muse that if IBM really wants to keep its Lotus customers happy, its gonna take more than the Enterprises Capt. Picard to "make it so."
The Titan of Tattle was soon tossing back a few at the Big River Brewing Co. with some IT folks who were flapping over rumors that Hewlett-Packard may soon announce it will use AMDs Opteron chips in some ProLiant systems. Such a rift in the HP-Intel chip development partnership wouldnt help the Itaniums suffering sales figures. One industry insider told the Kitty that HPs interest in the Opteron could be fueled by rumors Intel is secretly working on a project—once known as Yamhill—to put 64-bit extensions into its 32-bit Xeon chips, creating an Opteron competitor. That has apparently been a growing sore spot in the relationship.
Speaking of sore spots, one of the Kittys new companions said Microsofts new SPOT (Smart Personal Object Technology) watches from Fossil can blank out or lose data thanks to everyday static electricity. The antennas in the watchband, and that may cause the disruptions. A rival watchmaker houses its antenna in the bezel and hasnt received static from users. Seeing spots himself, the Katt left in time to field a call back at the Dolphin hotel. It was a Katt crony, chortling over Richard Chiarellos departure as sales executive at Siebel. When Chiarello was hired 15 months ago, CEO Tom Siebel said, "This guys a star." The crony confided that Seibel now dismisses the dismissal, saying, "We just eliminated a layer of management" and that the change brings the CEO "one level closer to the customer." Meditating on Siebels fabled people skills, the Mouser emitted an amazed "Meouch!"