Copy protection on software only inconveniences the people who paid for the software. I pre-ordered Doom 3 for example and was able to download a cracked version 2 days before my CD arrived in the post. The cracked version ran from hard drive but the 'protected' one required the CD to be inserted at all times which was a pain in the ass. I had the same problem with Red Alert. With VRPC when I disabled an ethernet net card from my laptop because I was using a wireless one VRPC refused to run.
Email is hardly real time. Telephone can be intrusive or expensive - for example one's mother might not want to call at 11pm at night but she can log onto msn and see you are at the computer and chat without calling and the phone waking everyone up. Also I talk to people in other countries and free real time chat is handy. It's very good for discussing things - many a time I have been on the phone to someone and talked about a web page or site and sent them the link via messenger. It's not a replacement but a complement. It's like saying why use email when post exists.
I've never found the perfect virtual desktop addon for RISC OS with various bits not working like some windows won't get off the screen or when pulling a window to the current screen it won't work. So my question is which is the best one to use?