Monday, August 27, 2007

New Yahoo! Mail Launches

Yahoo! Mail has launched in the U.S. market. The updated former email client expands the Web mail service into a "social communication" tool, adding the ability to send text messages to cellphones directly from e-mail. The latest update also illustrates a trend: "communication" and "content" apps are blurring and blending. At the same time, communications are shifting, in part, into the context of social networking sites, where communications is a "background" feature always available, and where the current willingness and ability to communicate is known to each social network "buddy."

Yahoo! also has tweaked the interface to make it easier for people to go back and forth between email, instant messaging and text messaging, and to access content from inside the client itself.

The new service includes two real-time communication features that are the first of their kind from a leading Web mail service. These include the ability to send free text messages from Yahoo! Mail to mobile phone numbers in the US, Canada, India, and the Philippines, and the ability to send instant messages (IM) from Yahoo! Mail to members of the world's largest combined IM community, including users of Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger2.

The new Yahoo! Mail enables people to select how they want to communicate with their online contacts: by e-mail, instant message or text message to a mobile phone number.

U.S. users now can right click on underlined dates, names and keywords within messages and take additional action, such as adding events directly to their Yahoo! Calendars, adding friends to their Contacts, immediately viewing a Yahoo! Map of an address or performing a Web search on a keyword.

Yahoo! says the client will operate with the speed and responsiveness of a desktop application. A co-branded version of the new Yahoo! Mail will also be available in the fall to customers using the following broadband Internet services: AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet, Verizon Yahoo! and Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet. The new Yahoo! Mail will be available this fall to Yahoo! Small Business Mail users as well.

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