36 billion e-mails per day by 2005

E-mail usage is on the rise and, according to IDC, the number of worldwide e-mail mailboxes is expected to increase at a 138% growth rate, from 505 million in 2000 to 1.2 billion in 2005.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  September 24, 2001

E-mail usage is on the rise and, according to IDC, the number of worldwide e-mail mailboxes is expected to increase at a 138% growth rate, from 505 million in 2000 to 1.2 billion in 2005. The analyst house holds three factors responsible for this increase: web services, wireless access, and workers without e-mail.

"Wireless access through e-mail devices and network services will offer new ways for e-mail users to remain connected longer while on the move," says Mark Levitt, research director for IDC's Collaborative Computing program. "Workers such as deskless and mobile workers whose access to e-mail has not come easy will benefit from customised e-mail software, devices, and hosted services," he adds.

The number of person-to-person e-mails sent on an average day is also expected to grow, with IDC predicting that in excess of 36 billion will be sent worldwide in 2005. Web browsers are touted to become the primary method for accessing e-mail, with over 50% of all e-mail mailboxes worldwide accessed in this manner by 2003.

"E-mail usage is growing despite challenges from market substitutes like instant messaging and virtual workspaces that require a change in the way people work and often fall short of matching e-mail’s ease of use and global reach," says Robert Mahowald, senior analyst for 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," he adds.

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