Friday, March 30, 2007

Has Outlook Become a Killer App?

Some applications gain so much marketplace domination that, regardless of quality, they become Killer Apps. Outlook has gained that kind of domination, and is now a driving force.

Some church and donor management systems interface with it directly, allowing users to synchronize content from them with their PDAs. Websites interface with it too, offering the option of writing booked airfare itineraries or ticketed events directly to it.

But is Outlook the best solution? Unfortunately, no. The features of Notes and GroupWise are much stronger, but because they have not gained market dominance, their users will probably be relying on Outlook soon just as they do Microsoft Word. And anyone who is old enough to remember WordPerfect will tell you that it was a much more capable word processor than Word still is (remember Reveal Codes?).

There are a couple of benefits to Outlook that Notes and GroupWise don't have:
  • Easy native PDA synchronization, and
  • Ability to interface with other programs.
The ability to interface with other programs is not so much an Outlook ability as much as it is the recognition of many other application providers that it is a dominant presence with which they can easily interface.

According to the Gartner, Outlook's total cost of ownership is double that of Notes or GroupWise, but as the marketplace dominator, it cannot be ignored. Outlook is a Killer App.

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