Microsoft Says Email Not Dead Yet - InformationWeek
Government // Enterprise Architecture
04:03 PM
Connect Directly

Microsoft Says Email Not Dead Yet

A majority of those surveyed by MarketTools want a tool that brings their email, social media, and voicemail together in a unified inbox.

Microsoft Office 2010 In Pictures
(click image to view slideshow)
Slideshow: Microsoft Office 2010 In Pictures
Microsoft is using market survey results to argue that email in general and Microsoft Outlook in particular remain as relevant as ever in the social media era.

Though other forms of messaging are proliferating and perhaps divert some communications away from email, a survey Microsoft commissioned from MarketTools of 1,268 professionals and students age 18 and older shows that 96% (including 92% of the 18-24 year olds) expect their email communication in the workplace to stay the same or grow over the next five years. Email is actually the most effective means of workplace communication--beating out face-to-face meetings and instant messaging--according to 53% of those polled.

The same survey showed 35% of those polled agreeing social media is an effective means of communications with colleagues, clients, and vendors, while 25% (and 37% of the 18-24 year olds) said social media helped them build relationships with colleagues.

Microsoft is not so much trying to minimize social communication as put it in context. At a product level, Microsoft wants to embrace social media using tools like the Social Connector for Outlook, as well as SharePoint integration for collaboration within the enterprise.

This Social Connector for Outlook allows users to register their social media accounts so that they can view and respond to social media messages directly within the Outlook user interface. Microsoft is comparing social interaction to the way calendar functionality is integrated into Outlook. The connector provides links to Facebook, LinkedIn, Microsoft Messenger, and Viadeo, a LinkedIn rival that is most popular in Europe. In combination with Microsoft unified communication tools, Outlook can also provide a single inbox that includes other communication modes, such as voicemail. The strategy of using Outlook as a hub for social communication and collaboration is also used by third-party vendors, such as

The MarketTools survey showed more than 55% (68% of 18–24-year-olds) said they would appreciate a tool that brings their email, social media, and voicemail together in a unified inbox.

In a blog post, Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president for Office, took the opportunity to dispute recent headlines, such as a New York Times story on the falling use of email.

"We see evidence every day, however, that email is still a key means of communication," Numoto wrote. "The real debate is not whether we'll use email in the future, but what are the best tools for a given conversation? If I need a quick response from a customer or colleague, I might first pick up my phone or send a text message. If I want to share something with several people, I might use my Facebook account to send a group message and link. If I have a longer message to send or need a record of the conversation, email gives me that virtual paper trail."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll