What's the best way to send messages and attachments across a LAN?

What is the best way to send messages and attachments across a LAN? I have been using e-mail but need something more instant.
You can use the Windows Messenger service to send pop-up messages to other workstations that have the Messenger service running and the appropriate ports enabled, simply by typing net send \\computer "Hello, here's my message!." If you need to quickly broadcast a message to your entire domain (in the event of a server outage, for example), you can use net send * "App server is down, back up in 20 minutes." NET SEND does not support the use of file attachments: for that, your best bet remains either e-mail, or the use of file sharing technologies like DFS and Sharepoint.

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This was first published in November 2004

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