Microsoft launched a unified communications platform (merging email, instant messaging and telephony) that Business Division President Jeff Raikes claims will put an end to telephone tag:
“The era of dialing blind, the era of playing phone tag, the era of voice-mail jam…that era is ending . . . I don’t want to get in touch with your number. I want to get in touch with you.
Sorry Jeff, but actually most of the time, I don’t want to talk to people. I want them to leave a message in my email box which I can either read or listen to in order to determine whether it is worth responding to. Based on what I hear and read, I will respond.
Why do companies love offering products like this – a hodgepodge of stuff that does not really solve a pressing problem? Right now my problem is I get too many emails from business contacts, friends, family, email newsletters, etc. The last thing I need is people managing to reach me via phone interrupting my already busy day.
I want FILTERS, intelligent ones, and I have a few solutions already using email, but nothing is optimal. Messages from close friends and family go into a mailbox marked “read right away”. I have various mailboxes for different levels of urgency. But what I certainly don’t need is a solution that allows people to talk to me whenever THEY want, not when I want.