According to a recent study by technology research firm IDC, e-mail usage is on the rise worldwide and by 2005 there will be 1.2 billion mailboxes in use, up from 505 million in 2000. The firm said that three Ws are responsible for the growth — Web services, wireless access and workers without e-mail signing up for accounts.
IDC, Framingham, MA, also said that despite the shakeout among providers of free Web-based e-mail, the remaining companies will see significant growth in mailboxes tied to Web sites.
“E-mail usage is growing despite challenges from market substitutes like instant messaging and virtual work spaces that require a change in the way people work and often fall short of matching e-mail's ease of use and global reach,” said Robert Mahowald, senior analyst at IDC's Collaborative Computing program. “In addition to the three Ws, e-mail usage will be driven by better integration between e-mail and other business applications and processes that will make e-mail more accessible and, therefore, more valuable to a broader audience.”
The IDC study looked at the mailboxes by user and type including corporate, hosted, business and consumer. It also surveyed primary access methods such as Post Office Protocol, Internet Message Access Protocol, Web browser and proprietary. Additionally, the study looked at the volume of sent e-mails and their purpose, either business or personal.