Being an I.T. pro for more than 23 years, I was lucky enough to witness the birth of the email. In the beginning it was a way to send a message faster than via regular mail. Then it became a necessary process for companies and a fun activity for users. It was Netscape mail server, Exchange server in its early stages, Public folders in the email infrastructure, Google mail, live email, Office 365 and generally email in the Cloud.
That was a really nice story – and we are near the end of the story.
Then came the death of Hotmail – not literally but essentially.
One day Microsoft (a company I have worked at and still love because it is a great place to work) just decided to rebrand its cloud email putting in front the much awarded Outlook brand. It was a nice move. Hotmail as a brand was old and outdated, while Outlook with its “metro” kind of style is fresh and trendy.
Is there something else ?
In fact there is. Why do you rebrand a good email service like Hotmail? I believe it is because email is going to change. Email as we know and use it can’t go on. It has to change, it needs to become more social.
Why ? Because your email is overloaded and you simply cannot follow it sequentially anymore. Too many email messages!
So is there any solution?
In theory there is: The Social Email!
Suppose your email was the timeline in a private social network. A timeline with an email address that would be fun to use everyday instead of being forced to read 108 new email messages in your inbox. How much could this change your everyday life?
Email will and should change. It should become Social. Enterpise social networking could be a step to this direction.
This is why Hotmail ‘died’ one day. Because email will change. And we are going to be part of this change that will happen in front of our … tablets maybe?