Seth has a great post over here asking if email is on it’s way out.
The gist of the post is that email is very web1.0 and will eventually be superseded by something bigger, better and more web based (which sounds a little counter intuitive). Or at least something more akin to an open, organic and dynamic service that email currently isn’t.
I think Seth was a little optimistic with his time estimates, incumbency equals inertia and it’ll take a lot to drag email down. It’s become ingrained in our collective psyche in the same way that standard delivery television and landlines have.
And yes both those things will pass but much less rapidly than could be possible.