InfoWorld: E-mail's many hats: By Jon Udell "E-mail is the jack of all trades, but the master of none. There are better ways to transfer files, hold discussions, deliver notifications, broadcast newsletters, schedule meetings, work collaboratively, and manage personal information. But even though e-mail isn't the best tool for any of these tasks, it provides a single interface to all of them. Here's a challenge: Let's improve the various functions performed by e-mail without multiplying the interfaces people must learn in order to use those functions."
I'll all for keeping things as simple as possible, but, as outlined in a Groove white paper last year, I think it's important to distinguish among workspaces for collaboration and channels for communication.