This could feel such as a mini-course in ancient history, but I am only returning 20 years.
Back the mid 1980’s during University, my email was a mcgill.ca address while my American associates had an “.edu” email address. Use of these systems was by way of a Telnet session at the school’s terminals. At home, I could dial-in to a SLIP server with a 2400 baud modem, and get my email so long as I’d a Telnet client.
Those that didn’t go to College had access to a Freenet account, which was also accessible through Telnet.
When I graduated and had to fund an Internet Service Provider, I accessed email through POP and SMTP with Outlook or Eudora for a long time until I needed the capacity to access the internet from anywhere in the world. IMAP helped bridge the gap so long as the mail client was setup on could work and family computer so all my mail, Inbox, Sent Items, and Drafts, were synchronized.
With the popularity of internet based emails by the mid 1990’s, the big 3 were MSN’s Hotmail, Yahoo! and Google’s Gmail. People would change or have multiple accounts as storage area was often the biggest headache. It wasn’t long ago when 2 megabytes was the maximum storage space buy edu email. Gmail was the first to offer 2 gigabytes of storage, and continuously growing.
Most internet based email providers had the capacity to download POP email, but your email “from” or “reply-to” address was usually your web based email address. That is acceptable for private use, however not for corporate use.
At a corporate level, Microsoft Exchange combined with Outlook client was extremely popular, and is still popular today. Exchange is a messaging and groupware server that uses IMAP together of many protocols to get into email. In addition it gets the Outlook Web Access feature which was more convenient than conventional internet based email because it had your contacts, shared calendars and public folders.
Today, I still like using Outlook, because it supplies a great “store and forward” mechanism: the capacity to work off-line on my laptop. I can quickly work in Draft mode on a plane and hook up to the Internet to synchronize my mailbox when back on land. Plus, my Contacts are synchronized with my Palm PDA or Blackberry wireless handheld device.
Sure, I could download my Yahoo or Gmail to my Outlook by utilizing POP, but it wouldn’t synchronize any changes. In addition it depends if my mail was deleted on the server after downloading, or stored on the server. Sorting email may be painfully slow with Yahoo in comparison to Gmail’s lightning fast search algorithm, however, you can’t sort by file size, for example.
Given that Gmail supports IMAP, by combining it with Outlook, I combine the very best of both worlds. There are several options that come with Outlook I cannot live without, and with the popularity of social networking, integration with LinkedIn or Facebook causes it to be more appealing.
There is a pattern for private email decreasing in support of Instant Messaging and text messaging via cell phone. However, Email will also have a place in the corporate world.