For a number of years Microsoft has been working hard to put Novell’s Groupwise and IBM’s Lotus Domino systems on the back burner, with a certain amount of success.  Now it seems that the main threat to Microsoft’s dominance might be Open Source-based email systems, ie: those that are completely open code and enhanceable by anyone.

Yankee Group has a report coming up in April, “2007 Global Server Hardware and Server OS Survey” which queries nearly 1,000 CXO and IT Manager types shows a coming storm for the Big M.  Over 23% of those surveyed indicated they are going to be migrating from MS Exchange to Open Source and Linux-based solutions.  This will be taking place over the next 12-18 months, and apparently the main reason is that Linux and Open Source packages are less expensive and easier to manage.

Some other interesting numbers stand out from this survey, such as 65% of those surveyed are currently MS Exchange customers, with the other third being fairly evenly split amongst Lotus Domino, Novell Groupwise with a number of smaller players bringing up the rear.  Only 19% of the current MS Exchange customers indicated they would be upgrading to the next version of Exchange within the first 12 months of Exchange 2007’s release.  Apparently it’s becoming clear that Linux and Open Source email solutions have grown up enough to cause those who find Exchange too expensive in cost, management and complexity to look elsewhere.

Anyone among our readership who is considering the switch?  If so, post a comment and start a conversation!