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The Benefits of Desktop Email Over Browser Email

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Still can’t decide which email system is better: desktop or web-based?  Robby Slaughter recently tackled this subject on The Marketing Tech Blog. In his view, there are several main reasons why desktop email reigns as king.

When it comes to speed, timing, features and control, Robby Slaughter, principal of AccelaWork, argues that desktop email is better equipped and more efficient than web-based email.

consultant at his desktop

© Flickr user Victor1558

Below is a shortened version of his entire guest post:

These days, it seems like everybody is using a web-based email clients. The numbers behind this trend are staggering. Back when Microsoft looked into buying Hotmail it already had 8.5 million subscribers—and that was in 1997. Today, the various Microsoft email services are up to 250 million users, with Gmail clocking in at 150 million users. Web-based email continues to be one of the most popular trends and one of the biggest uses of web technology.

The only problem is that web-based email is terribly inefficient. If you want to be more productive than the half billion people who use web-based email, simply switch to a desktop email client. Here’s why:


Many of us now have to process hundreds of messages in the course of a day. Every time you deal with a message on a web-based email program, you have to wait for some distant remote web server to handle your request. It might seem like Hotmail is pretty snappy at deleting messages, but it’s not nearly as fast as doing so in Outlook or Thunderbird or Mail.App. A an extra half-second-per-click might not seem like much, but if you’re dealing with thousands of clicks you’re wasting dozens of minutes. Furthermore, the overall speed of your web-based email client doesn’t depend on your computer but your Internet connection. Head for a crowded wifi hotspot and even Gmail slows to a crawl.


The primary difference between web-based email and desktop-based email is the sequence of access steps. If you attach a file to a message in Yahoo! Mail, you have to wait until the upload process is complete before you actually can send the message. This is simply the nature of web-based email. The application runs on the web, so you can’t do anything with a draft until all of your content is actually transferred over the Internet.

Attach a file to a message in your desktop email program, however, and the process is instant. It doesn’t matter if this file is 1k or 10MB. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a snappy connection or one that is painfully slow. In fact, you don’t even have to be online to write emails, add attachments, and queue them for sending! Your desktop email works exactly like traditional postal mail. You can process messages whenever you like and wherever you like, no matter your proximity to the mail carrier.

While most people use email to get away from operating like traditional mail, the ability to not have to worry about an internet connection is a huge time saver. We’ve all had times when we wanted to prepare some messages but couldn’t due to a network error. Instead of having to save your message in a word processor, a proper desktop email client will be able to send your message away without you having to think twice. And you still don’t need to buy a stamp!


. . . The Google Blog recently announced that if you’re using the Google Chrome browser you can now drag-and-drop attachments to your desktop!

Wait: drag and drop attachments? Let’s see, that’s been available on desktop email clients since at least 1997. And speaking of Google, they appear to be the only web-based email client that has officially offered “offline use” for nearly a full year. That’s a feature which has been part of every desktop-based mail client since approximately 1979.


Call me paranoid, but I just don’t like the idea of trusting all my email to live in the cloud through some free provider. Once in a while disaster can strike. With a desktop-email client, you automatically get to have at least two copies of all of your messages.

Backups are always a good thing to have. Manually backing up your messages is a decent option, but why go to all that trouble when you can have it done automatically by your desktop email? As Slaughter’s post highlights, desktop email is all about finding efficient ways to take care of your day-to-day communication.

Are you looking to become more efficient with email? Contact the professional email management consultants at AccelaWork today!

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