Stumbling over email attachments

Microsoft (and other email providers, though Microsoft has done it best) has brought a lot of the "office productivity applications" into email. You can include a lot in an email today that would have been impossible years ago (and still is if you're sen

A friend sent me an email last week asking me to answer a few questions for him. He mentioned that they were brief and would require little time on my part. Unfortunately, he included the questions as an attachment, and I've been avoiding that email ever since.

I'm not sure if I'm alone in this, but I associate attachments with "heavy lifting." Involved analysis. Lots of time. Real work.

He called me today to ask if I'd taken a look. Sheepishly, I admitted my attachment phobia and promised to answer by tonight. I'm in the middle of doing that now and, guess what? He's right. The questions aren't difficult to answer. He shouldn't have sent them as an attachment.

Microsoft (and other email providers, though Microsoft has done it best) has brought a lot of the "office productivity applications" into email. You can include a lot in an email today that would have been impossible years ago (and still is if you're sending the email to an ASCII bigot :-). My question: why don't all email providers recognize that email, not Word (or even Excel, for simple spreadsheets), is the production and delivery mechanism of choice? Stop forcing people to go to two applications to get one job done.

Because then I can banish my attachment phobia. :-)

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    The most anticipated games of 2015
    Tech industry's high-flying 2014
    Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
    The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
    A roomy range from LG (pictures)
    This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)