Microsoft’s Irving views the future of e-mail in the context of a wider array of digital communications with a person’s contact list functioning as the central point around which their communications occur.
“During the next ten years, this is all about unifying the communication experience and having it all come together in a way that makes mail just another activity that hangs off the contact list,” he says.
Considering how much digital communication mediums are changing and evolving, that makes sense. Once people only had e-mail, but now they also can place phone calls over the Internet, and they have instant messaging and cellular text messaging. The latter two especially have become preferred communication mediums versus e-mail for younger populations.
So establishing e-mail as just one integrated and versatile tool in a stocked box of digital applications means that the ability to allow communications over a myriad of devices and networks, with whomever and whenever you want, is paramount. And not just today, but tomorrow as well.