Yesterday, The GroupWise engineering team gave Bryan Cardoza, Nat Friedman and me a full tour of the updates to the GroupWise clients. I went to the meeting without very high expectations only to have my socks knocked off by the incredible amount of work that had been done across the board.
Every one of the client interfaces that Novell produces for GroupWise had gotten a serious facelift, and the functionality that comes with the cosmetics was equally exciting. The GroupWise WebAccess interface is beautiful. The team has pushed some new user interface boundaries in the Win32 client–actual pioneering work in this area. The crossplatform client (for Mac and Linux) has undergone major improvements, too. We have one other client that we’re working on as well, but I’m not going to talk about it yet. (Hint: I’m not talking about Evolution.)
Best evidence of all as to whether the team is doing their work well was Nat’s reaction. Nat has been with Novell for only a short time, and his oversight of GroupWise has been literally a few months. Consequently, Nat does not have the deep emotional attachment to GroupWise that people typically get over any technology in which they have a vested interest. Also, Nat is a user experience zealot. He really gets that the look and feel of software has as much (or more) to say about its quality than the actual functionality. So, Nat gushing–I mean, literally gushing–about the demos after seeing them speaks volumes about the work being done.
For me, the demos got me really charged up about the upcoming launch of this next version of GroupWise. This is going to be a fun product to show off and market. I know that our current customers are going to love the strides we have made with it, and I also have a renewed confidence that we can start attracting Linux-ready shops to consider adopting GroupWise instead of swallowing the Windows-Exchange pill.
We’ll demo the interfaces at BrainShare next week, and I do not want to steal any of the thunder from the keynotes and breakouts that will feature this release. Suffice to say that it will be quite good.
Filed under: Novell