The popular email service from Yahoo is now in public beta and it’s accessible by everyone.
Back in the old days, Yahoo was one of the few free email services available on the Internet together with Microsoft’s MSN and Time Warner’s AOL. Back then, a storage space of 10 MB was considered more then enough for a free email service. If it also provided POP3 access, it was getting close to perfection.
Everything was fine with that, until Google came around. The search giant launched Gmail, the first free email service to offer 2GB of email storage. At that time, this came as a revolution and invitations to the Gmail service became objects of trade on the Internet.
Yahoo, one of the competitors that felt deeply the influence of Google’s email service, tried to keep up and quikly offered 1GB of email storage to its users in a desperate effort to keep up with Gmail and stick to its market shares. In time, things have settled a little and email services were no longer a hot topic of discussion.
Nevertheless, a quite battle for supremacy was being fought by major competitors on the email services market. Google was again the first to implement a Web 2.0 version of its web-based email interface which also integrates with lots of other different services and with its proprietary IM client.
Part of its effort to offer an enhanced interface to its users, Yahoo has prepared a beta version of its web-based interface and now made it available to the general public. The new Yahoo Mail Beta tries to resemble a dedicated email application and in most aspects it manages to do that.
With features like message drag-and-dropping between folders, specific right-click actions, built-in RSS feeds and integrated Contacts, Yahoo Mail Beta redefines the web-based email services.
“Yahoo Mail feels like a direct competitor to email-reading software like Outlook or Eudora. It’s free, it’s fast, and if you’re accustomed to using other email applications your learning curve will be very brief. But there’s another school of email, which Google leads. Gmail is a fundamentally different beast. It does smarter things with email, like grouping messages in a conversation together, and converting some types of attachments (like PDFs) into HTML for you. It also gives you more space to store your mail. Google doesn’t do its thing as prettily as Yahoo does, but it does some things better,” says the popular news site CNET.
Although it lacks some features that Gmail offers, Yahoo Mail has ceratinly become a fearful competitor for Google’s mail service and if it continues on this trend, Google will have reasons to worry.