Microsoft Continues to Raid Lotus

As Ballmer proclaims Lotus customers 'ripe to be plucked,' two more Lotus developers switch to the Redmond camp.

Microsoft Corp. continues to woo top Lotus software developers to its ranks.

Among its most recent hires are two former Lotus developers, Julio Estrada, who joined Redmonds ranks in June as software architect in the Exchange Server Group; and Bob Congdon, hired in July as an Exchange design engineer also in the Exchange Server Group, according to Microsoft spokeswoman Michelle Hinrichs.

Estrada formerly served as lead architect for Lotus Domino Web Server and Lotus QuickPlace collaboration technologies, after which he founded collaboration vendor Kubi Software Inc. in 2001 in Lincoln, Mass. Mark Rankovic has now taken the reigns as CEO and President of Kubi.

Congdon recently left IBMs Lotus Software division, where he worked on IBMs Workplace technologies. He had previously worked for Lotus subsidiary Iris Associates, where he served as an architect and technical lead for the Lotus Domino Web Server.

The news comes on the heels of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmers swipe at Lotus Notes at this weeks Microsofts WorldWide Partner Conference in Minneapolis.

"Id never seen a customer base thats more ripe to be plucked and moved than that Notes customer base—left and right, large account after large account that I meet with thats a Notes customer—theyre just waiting for us and our partners to do the conversions," said Ballmer.

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Estrada and Cognos follow other Lotus luminaries who have joined Redmond in the past year, such as Gary Devendorf, a technology evangelist in Microsofts server division and former application development product manager at Lotus; and Charlie Kaufman, security architect for Microsofts Common Language Runtime group, formerly chief security architect for Lotus Notes.

And then, of course, there is Lotus Notes creator Ray Ozzie, who recently joined Microsofts ranks as CTO with Redmonds acquisition of the collaboration software company he founded, Groove Networks Inc.

Anther Lotus notable who has recently been approached by Microsoft is Ed Brill, business unit executive, Worldwide Lotus Messaging Sales, IBM Software Group, according to Brills blog.

Brill made it clear he had no intentions of heading to Redmond any time soon. He also pointed out that IBM recently added two former Lotus Development Corp. employees to its ranks: Bob Balaban, who resigned this month as president of consulting firm Looseleaf Software Inc.; and Rocky Oliver, who left the consulting firm he founded, Sapphire Oak Technologies, this spring.

Both have joined IBMs Lotus Business Transformation team, which is geared toward moving companies to the IBM Workplace collaboration platform.

Editors Note: This story has been updated to include comment from IBMs Ed Brill.

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