Given the near ubiquity of e-mail and the fact that it is the most widely used application in the world, "anytime, anywhere" access to e-mail has great value and is highly prized. For these reasons, Web mail is extremely popular and the common characterization is that e-mail is the killer app of the Web. At the same time, because e-mail is an application that most of us spend several hours per day using, the quality of the user experience becomes very important. Standard page-based Web mail provides the ease of access, but at a high cost in productivity. Ajax allows developers of e-mail software to begin addressing the usability and productivity issues that Web mail suffers from today.
There's an additional compelling advantage for enterprises in that they can altogether eliminate the cost and complexity associated with supporting desktop e-mail clients by deploying an Ajax e-mail client instead. In most cases, power users will still require a desktop mail client. At Scalix, we're seeing more and more customers determine that the e-mail and calendaring needs for a large number of employees can be met with SWA, which is an Ajax client. The cost saving benefits of using Ajax in this manner can be quite significant.
This was first published in October 2005