GM Mike Rhodin gave an interview to e-Week - IBM GM: Lotus Seeks to Advance Productivity - from which I pull this quote:
"Hannover" represents a major overhaul of the UI. There hasn't been a major overhaul of the UI since Version 5 really. It had been more incremental revisions really of the design, and "Hannover" is a major departure from that design. "Hannover" is very focused on the end-user experience, not just the look and feel, but around what can we do to make end users more productive, how can we change their work environment to make it more natural for the kind of work they do, and that's where the introduction of both the composite applications and the activity-centric computing really come into play.
The new Notes client is going to be HOT! I'm sure you'll be seeing more of it (and not just slideshows) at Lotusphere. From a developer's perspective, it will open up new classes of applications that go beyond what is possible in Notes today.
He goes on to discuss activity-centric computing - getting people out of the inbox, but also allowing the flexibility to work how they want to. I think that's important for user adoption of new technologies. We are so stuck in our ways of working, that it's difficult to do it any other way, even if the new way is more productive. By not forcing the issue, and bringing the activity model TO the user, organizations can adopt it when they are ready.
Mike does a great job explaining how it all will work for both Notes and non-Notes users. He understands the technology behind it, and also the business benefits that goes with that innovation. It will be a natural upgrade for users.
Workplace Designer gets a plug, with the Blog sample that's included. (Which, by the way, has been greatly enhanced for 2.6 with features like a blogroll, recent posts, and custom fields to display whatever you like.)
The whole interview is worth a read, as he clearly articulates the strategy. I'd point to this article any time someone tries to put words in IBM's collective mouth. :0
Sr. Product Manager, IBM Workplace Development Tools (that includes Domino, too!)