I've long advocated for a Lotus Notes personal edition and I'm not alone in this. Fellow Notes blogger, Karl-Henry Martinsson (aka Texas Swede) just blogged his thoughts on a Notes personal edition he'd like to see. Nice work, Karl. As far as how to limit the use of personal clients against an enterprise, that's actually very easy. I've blogged about that before:
In short, a personal user, not attached to a Domino server, will get a UserID in the form of Name/Name. E.g. "Eric Mack/Eric Mack". This means that I am a user "Eric Mack" in the domain of "Eric Mack." This in itself will prevent me from accessing any server unless I have been cross certified with it. One thing Lotus could do would be to make a restriction to not allow certifying an ID to servers where the name and domain are the same, thus blocking out personal users. Or, a fancier mechanism could be employed.
My point here is not to argue how to make it happen technically - IBM Lotus has many smart people who can do that, but to support the idea of a personal version of Notes. A stand-alone Notes client that could pull mail from a variety of sources would be an ideal alternative to a Thunderbird or Outlook client. It could even be the entry point to a cloud offering. Then, if there were a way to buy server access in the cloud so that I, as an individual could have all of my stuff in sync (e.g. the old Groove model) and share it - that would be cool.
I've made no secret that I believe that IBM Lotus needs to get personal with Notes before there's no room left to enter that space. Focusing in the features that enable individuals to become more productive and giving them the tools (e.g. a personal version of Notes) are steps I'd like to see.
So, will we see any of this in 2009? Your guess is as good as mine. What do you think?
See: "Lotus Notes Home Edition" - my thoughts
Update: there'a a great discussion going on at Bruce's blog. Ed Brill is addressing some of the comments. Not sure how I mised that post & thread. See: This is what IBM Lotus needs to (figure out how to) do