This might feel such as for instance a mini-course in ancient history, but I am only heading 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. Use of these systems was via a Telnet session at some of the school’s terminals. At home, I really could dial-in to a SLIP server with a 2400 baud modem, and get my email as long as I had a Telnet client.
People who didn’t go to College had use of 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 capacity to access the web from anywhere in the world. IMAP helped bridge the gap as long as the mail client was setup on my work and desktop 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 space was the biggest headache. It wasn’t way back when when 2 megabytes was the utmost storage space. Gmail was the first to ever offer 2 gigabytes of storage, and continuously growing.
Most internet based email providers had the capacity to download POP email, your email “from” or “reply-to” address was usually your web based email address buy edu email. This is acceptable for personal use, but not for corporate use.
At a corporate level, Microsoft Exchange with the Outlook client was extremely popular, and is still popular today. Exchange is just a messaging and groupware server that uses IMAP together of the many protocols to get into email. It also has got the Outlook Web Access feature which was more convenient than conventional internet based email since it had your contacts, shared calendars and public folders.
Today, I still like using Outlook, since 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 an airplane 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 really could download my Yahoo or Gmail to my Outlook by using POP, however it wouldn’t synchronize any changes. It also 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.
Now that Gmail supports IMAP, by combining it with Outlook, I combine the most effective of both worlds. There are some features of Outlook I cannot live without, and with the popularity of social networking, integration with LinkedIn or Facebook makes it more appealing.
There is a trend for personal email decreasing and only Instant Messaging and txt messaging via cell phone. However, Email will also have a invest the corporate world.