Microsoft Exchange Server outsold rival Lotus Notes in the first quarter this year for the first time ever, signaling a sweeping change in the Email server market. New Exchange Server deployments for the quarter were 3.05 million, vs. 2.7 million for Notes. Overall, the total number of Notes installations far outweighs Exchange: There are 22.5 million Notes users, vs. 13.05 million for Exchange. "Exchange has hit the sweet spot of the market," said Eric Arnum, editor and publisher of the Electronic Mail Messaging newsletter. "It is the right product in the right place, particularly with its Internet connectivity. But I would not leap to any conclusion about Notes losing its momentum. It just had its best period ever in the fourth quarter."
And who would jump to conclusions? Well, Microsoft would, naturally. News of Notes' ouster generated a Microsoft press release on Friday.
"We're not surprised at all," said Exchange Product Manager Stan Sorenson. "For so long it's been Notes running No. 1 and Exchange running No. 2. This is a momentum shift that we've been working for so long, but clearly it will be a seesaw battle."
Lotus Notes and Microsoft Exchange represent the top 60% of the client/server Email market. The remaining markestshare is divided between Novell GroupWise, SoftArc FirstClass, Hewlett Packard OpenMail, and Fujitsu TeamWare, according to the newsletter. Curiously absent is Netscape Communications, which has touted its Email and groupware marketshare in the past