Get ready for electronic mail

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<ul><li><p>42 </p><p>Get ready for electronic mail Electronic mail services will become common in Western European offices by the end of this decade, and organ- izations should start now to install electronic mail systems, says a report from market researchers Frost &amp; Sul- livan. This growth will happen as memory devices become cheaper and more powerful, and the cost of send- ing information electronically falls in relation to telephone and post. </p><p>Distributed processing and office systems are increasing rapidly, says the report, and electronic mail is likely to be integrated with them. This means that more manufacturers of computers, telecommunications products, and office equipment will move into the electronic mail market. </p><p>The report looks particularly at telex, teletex, facsimile, videotex and computer-based message services (CBMS). Telex, it says, will be used extensively in the short and medium term because of its low cost and large user base. Teletex will take over this market though, as it offers faster transmission of a larger character set, and terminals with editing facilities. </p><p>Micro user survey </p><p>Documentation and disc speed re- ceived the lowest marks in a survey of US microcomputer users. Over a third of the 6000 respondents said these were poor or fair. </p><p>Users gave other aspects higher grades. Overall satisfaction was high, with ease of use, keyboard, reliability of hardware, cost/performance ratio and ease of expansion all acceptable to users. Altogether 78% said they would recommend their microcom- puters to others, 12.7% said they would not, and the rest were unsure. </p><p>The survey covered 126 models </p><p>Its growth will be dependent on the PTTs resolving incompatability pro- blems, both nationally and inter- nationally. </p><p>The Group IV facsmile machines, which can send a page over public data networks in under three seconds, will appear in 1986. Manufacturers will develop terminals which include facsimile as a function of word pro- cessors, intelligent copiers and multi- function workstations. </p><p>Videotex will have a place, says the report, but as an alternative to the telephone, especially at home. Longer messages and documents are not suit- able for videotex, because its trans- mission speed is so slow. </p><p>CBMS can be based on a local area network within an organization, using an electronic mailbox, for example. It is an extension of distributed process- ing. Once incompatibility problems are overcome CBMS at various sites could be linked by a wide area net- work. (The European Market for Electronic Mail Equipment and Ser- vices. Frost &amp; Sullivan, 104-l 12 Mary- lebone Lane, London WIM SFU, UK.) </p><p>from 57 manufacturers. The Apple II+ still led the field as the most popularly used machine, with 19.2%, and the IBM Personal Computer came second with 13.7%. The Apple IIe and the Radion Shack TRS 8011 came in the next eight. Most users had bought their computers at com- puter stores, between six and 12 months ago. Over half paid between $1500 and $4000 for the system. Only 5% did not have at least 64 kbyte memory. </p><p>Most popular word processing package was still Wordstar (46.3%). Next came AppleWriter, and then Scripsit. (Datapro Reports on Micro- computers. Datapro Services SA., CH-1164 Buchillon, Switzerland.) </p><p>data processing </p></li></ul>


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