IBM has produced ugly-looking software for quite some years, including some round buttons in the toolbar of DB2’s Control Center. Time has changed.
I recently discover IBM Lotus Sametime on a project. Version 7 was quite nice and ergonomic to use, but it looked at little old compared to Trillian, Skype, Messenger and the likes. Lotus recently released version 7.5.
The latest version looks cool, nice and… it’s based on RCP. RCP stands for Rich Client Platform, it’s a technology coming from the Eclipse project. For more info, start here: http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/Rich_Client_Platform. Besides building nice applications, RCP also offers cross-platform support.
The good news is that IBM is shipping nice and easy-to-use applications.