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What's in a name? A clear signal, Lotus users say

Lotus users make their feelings quite clear about the company's name change in a recent searchDomino poll and resulting comments from users.

Shakespeare may have pondered what's in a name, but Domino users seem to have a pretty clear idea. In a recent searchDomino poll, only one in four respondents said that Lotus Software, the company's new name, is a positive step.

Of the 588 respondents, 39% said the company's name change makes little difference to them, as long as Lotus products aren't affected. However, 38% feel the modified moniker is awful and signals a loss in Lotus' individuality. Only 23% of those voting welcomed the switch.

On Sept. 10, Lotus Development Corp. announced on its Web site that its name had changed to Lotus Software from IBM. The move comes six years after IBM acquired Lotus.

The name wasn't the only change that brought Lotus closer in line with IBM. Lotus' Web site is now trimmed in the signature blue tones of its parent company. The site's home page also prominently displays the Big Blue logo on its upper left-hand corner.

The users who contacted searchDomino weren't pleased.

"Personally, I think all Notes developers and administrators should boycott any Lotus-sponsored events, including Lotusphere, to voice our discontent to IBM over what may be happening," said George Paglia, software applications analyst at LeCroy Corporation in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. and a former employee of IBM.

One Domino administrator, who preferred that we withhold her name, wondered if the new name would cause more confusion for users and, as a result, cause more work for her. "I'll get more users calling me pissed off that I can't fix their (Lotus) 1-2-3 problems," she said. "They just don't understand that it's one big company with many applications and that I only take care of one of them."

CLS and CLP Pankaj Kulkarni, whose first name ironically means Lotus in Sanskrit, pleaded with Lotus not to change its name for fear that "the company will lose its individuality."

However, Lotus users may only be beginning to see closer ties with IBM.

When announcing the move on its site, Lotus said, "We are just starting this change. Over the coming months you will see this new branding for Lotus, and for all of the IBM software brands, being used throughout all of our communications and offerings."


Check out our search Domino featured topic on IBM and Lotus, for great Web resources on the relationship.

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