This could feel such as for instance a mini-course in ancient history, but I’m only going back 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. Access to these systems was by way of a Telnet session at the school’s terminals. From your home, I could dial-in to a SLIP server with a 2400 baud modem, and get my email provided that I had a Telnet client.
Those who didn’t head 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 decades until I needed the capability to access the web from anywhere in the world. IMAP helped bridge the gap provided that the mail client was setup on could work and home computer so all my mail, Inbox, Sent Items, and Drafts, were synchronized.
With the popularity of web 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 space was usually the biggest headache. It wasn’t long ago when 2 megabytes was the most storage space. Gmail was the first to offer 2 gigabytes of storage, and continuously growing.
Most web based email providers had the capability to download POP email, your email “from” or “reply-to” address was usually your online based email address. That is acceptable for personal use, however not for corporate use.
At a corporate level, Microsoft Exchange with the Outlook client was extremely popular, and continues to be popular today buy edu email. Exchange is just a messaging and groupware server that uses IMAP together of the numerous protocols to access email. Additionally it has the Outlook Web Access feature which was more convenient than conventional web based email as it had your contacts, shared calendars and public folders.
Today, I still like using Outlook, as it supplies a great “store and forward” mechanism: the capability to work off-line on my laptop. I can very quickly work in Draft mode on a plane and connect with 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 using POP, nonetheless it wouldn’t synchronize any changes. Additionally it depends if my mail was deleted on the server after downloading, or stored on the server. Sorting email can 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 best of both worlds. There are some top features of Outlook I cannot live without, and with the popularity of social networking, integration with LinkedIn or Facebook causes it to be more appealing.
There’s a pattern for personal email decreasing in support of Instant Messaging and text messaging via cell phone. However, Email will always have a devote the corporate world.