The future of Email
In this article eWeek discusses the fact that Exchange 12 has several competitors for the Email market. This is undeniably true however most enterprise Exchange users must inevitably be seeing the future of Email as an integrated part of a broader and integrated communication and collaboration solution. In that context the suppliers of highly effective Open Source Email systems are not really a credible competitor.
However for the few enterprise customers who have no needs for anything but Email they are certainly worth considering. For everyone else though the competition really continues to come from mainstream corporate suppliers like IBM and Oracle and perhaps from specialist collaboration players hoping to expand into mainstream markets, like Documentum and OpenText.
Microsoft however continues to play to its strengths as it brings to market highly integrated and user friendly solutions that are increasingly enterprise and internet friendly as well. Next year (2006) we will see a new collaboration centric version of Office, of SharePoint and of its real-time collaboration solutions including Live Server which integrates instant messaging, audio, video and data conferencing as well as some equivalent products aimed at the consumer market.