Email is broken

Peter Coffee writes in Goodbye to Email that spam, phishing, and the hide-and-seek games that spammers play in trying to outwit new email filter schemes is causing so much headache that some Enterprise IT manager’s are looking at alternative communication channels such as application-to-application links.

. . . the fraction of e-mail comprising spam rose from 58 percent in December 2003 to 64 percent in May, according to measurements by anti-spam provider Brightmail. That’s an annual growth rate of 83 percent in spam per desired message, but total distraction grows even more quickly as people use e-mail more often: Nucleus Research estimates the average worker receives 29 unwanted messages each day, more than twice the figure of 13 that the company found a year ago. . .

The blank slate of e-mail has given enterprises the freedom to visualize and experiment with future communication tools. Now that those rough sketches have taken form, it’s time to produce more rigorous blueprints, using more focused and less readily abused technologies such as Web services. E-mail will still have a role but not as the central nervous system of the 21st-century workplace.

The breakdown of email as the "killer app" is driving next phase in the evolution towards business-to-business integration that is driving developers to pick up where they left off in building some of the "connectors" promised with systems such as Microsoft’s BizTalk Server but updating their work with more standards-based, web services interfaces. Such an evolution will only serve to hasten the availability and use of the web as platform.

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