Well, I've been using Notes 8.5 since it was released now and I figured it was time to say a bit about it.
First of all, after my disappointment with 8.0 (which was very slow) and 8.0.2 which was very unstable compared to 8.0.1, I have to say that 8.5 is rock-solid and "fast enough for me".
You may remember that I posted an article on Using Ubuntu for Real where I said that I nearly had the whole thing working and that if it wasn't for the fact that I couldn't get Notes working on it, I'd have been happy to use Ubuntu as my OS.
Well, things have changed. I took the Ubuntu version of Notes 8.5 home and (without any decent knowledge of Ubunutu - I've still never looked at a manual), I got it running in only a few minutes. The only hitch in the whole procedure was that the install wouldn't launch directly off my CD. I had to copy it to my desktop first.
Impressive.... Really Impressive.
In fact, the whole thing was so impressive that we stopped our tentative rollout of Notes 8.0.2 and updated the image to 8.5 - We're using Windows XP at work of course. We're rolling out with two icons, the Notes 8.5 icon and the Basic icon (you only do one install but you create a second icon that points to "nlnotes.exe"). I'm not even starting the basic client anymore - the eclipse one is working well for me.
I'm still not sure that I'm entirely over my future-shock with the designer client and I think that the default settings could be improved a little (like maybe enabling widgets) but at this stage, you'd have to pry the 8.5 client from my cold, dead fingers.
Well done IBM.