E-mail faces significant challenges from real time communications, spam and bugs and viruses, according to a new report from IDC.

For e-mail to retain its status as the dominant form of electronic communication, e-mail solution providers and their customers must uphold the high value of e-mail while reducing the associated costs and risks, the report said.

"E-mail has faced its challengers -- viruses, spam, regulations -- and emerged with its reputation bruised, but intact," Mark Levitt, research vice president for IDC's Collaborative Computing service, said in a statement. "Except among teens and young adults and inside certain fast-paced work environments, e-mail is staying ahead of instant messaging in terms of usage."


IDC predicts that nearly 84 billion e-mails, more than 33 billion of which will be spam messages, will be sent daily worldwide in 2006.

The future status of e-mail, IDC says, will depend on preserving its value throughout its life cycle from creation to permanent deletion while reducing associated costs and risks.

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