IM, Email or what?
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Saturday, 07 May 2011

If you’re wondering whether an app aimed at a particular sector might find a market, a new survey carried out on behalf of Microsoft has some interesting data.

Microsoft asked researchers MarketTools to carry out an independent online survey of 1,268 professionals and students, age 18 and older. The results showed that all sectors are still growing apart from Instant Messaging.

The figures show that people still rely heavily on email, at least for work. 96 percent of the respondents expect their email communication in the workplace to increase or to stay the same over the next five years. 53 percent think it’s the most efficient way to communicate with colleagues, beating the 49 percent who prefer face-to-face meetings, and the 42 percent who prefer to send an instant message.

The next finding will be a total surprise. Well, maybe not. People are using other forms of communication for business use as well as emails. Texting, social media, voice-over IP, web conferencing and instant messaging are all growing in use for both personal and business communications.

On the instant messaging front, 15 percent of users thing they’re using it less than a year ago, while 14 percent are using it more.

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Perhaps of most interest to programmers is the fact that 55 percent of respondents said they would use a tool that brings together email, calendar, voicemail, social media, text, and instant messaging into one location. This may not be a surprise, but it does show that there is still a market out there for the right app. You can read more about the survey on the Microsoft Office Blog.

 

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