So I’ve done a (very) little more research on this ‘life without email’ stuff – it seems to me that the main proponents of this are an IBM man (well if I had to use Notes, I too might give up email) and the CEO of Atos.

I have read a few of Mr Suarez’s blogs and I must admit I don’t subscribe to his point of view in most cases. In particular his piece about life work balance is tedious in the extreme. And could it be that he is simply trying to plug LotusLive? Mr Breton,CEO of Atos, is a former politician, which puts him in a negative light in my eyes, but in looking into the detail of  what Atos are actually doing, it seems that IM is one of the big winners in replacing email. Eh?  Certainly a lot of email can be moved to IM – or even better to the phone or walking round to someones desk – but it’s not a replacement for email… one’s mostly realtime and the other not… But if that’s where the buzz is in IT, I’d best dust off my Lync Server training notes… yes, Atos are using Office Communicator, which just so happens to integrate beautifully with an Outlook/Exchange/OWA combo.

I think Dave Coplin of Microsoft’s Envisioneers team has a better viewpoint (see here), but I still think he’s not envisioning enough. He is quoted as envisioning “We will have this universal communications platform that means if I’m talking to you via Facebook, Twitter, email or whatever their replacements are, it will all be presented as a common thread, so you couldn’t kind of care less what channel they’re on, what platform they’re using, communication will flow.”

I understand your envisioning Dave, and I’ve seen this demo’d on Windows Phone 7.5 (sorry I’m an iPhone user) and it looks cool, but I’m not sure how this works in practice. Linking your MSN chat, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn statuses has proved to be a nightmare in the main, as they are viewed by very different groups of people. If Windows 8 turns out how it’s looking it might, and we’re all carrying round laptops that look like big Windows mobile phones, I just know that there’ll be a posting photos of last nights dinner and a video of how my legs went wobbly at the Purple Turtle that time, on LinkedIn,  and that just isn’t right. Actually neither are right in any medium, but that’s a different grumble.

Envisioneers Team! No, really! I want to be an Envisioneer when I grow up. I’ll sit in my corner office in Redmond, staring out the window, feet on desk, idly tossing my squeaky lobster against the wall, cooler king style, envisioneering. ‘DO NOT DISTURB -ENVISONING IN PROGRESS!’ Ah, that’s the life…

In the interest of balance, I must include this link for a little poke at Mr Breton from the Examiner.

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