TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Yahoo Blends Web E-Mail With Speed of Desktop

Yahoo Blends Web E-Mail With Speed of Desktop

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 15 Sep 2005 12:32:30 -0500

Yahoo Inc. said it is upgrading Yahoo Mail, the most popular Web
e-mail program, to make it run more efficiently than other Web-based
systems and nearly as fast as desktop e-mail.

The new version of Yahoo Mail works in a browser, just as existing
versions of the program do, but Yahoo has developed ways to
short-circuit the multi-second delays that typically delay any action
taken in Web-based e-mail programs.

It replaces the need to repeatedly refresh a browser to open e-mail,
move it into folders or take other actions that require the user to
wait for the browser to redraw the page.

Instead, it works similarly to desktop computer e-mail clients, with
features such as drag-and-drop organization of e-mails into folders
and a message preview window that displays selected messages nearly

"The process of going through the inbox is much, much faster," said
Ethan Diamond, product manager for Yahoo Mail and a co-founder of
Outpost, the company which supplied the underlying technology used in
the Yahoo Mail upgrade.

Yahoo acquired Outpost in July 2004.

Analysts said Yahoo appears to have a sizable head start over other
major consumer e-mail providers such as Microsoft Corp.'s Hotmail,
Time Warner Inc.'s America Online and Google Inc.'s Gmail in speeding
up the experience of managing Web-based e-mail.


"This is a fairly significant step ahead for Yahoo," said Charles
Golvin, an analyst with Forrester Research.

Yahoo Mail contains keystroke shortcuts that reduce use of a mouse
pointer, faster searching through e-mail and an auto-complete feature
for addressing e-mails to frequent correspondents. Yahoo Mail remains
free and ad-supported.

Users of Microsoft Outlook, the desktop e-mail program that is the
most popular way for office-workers to manage their e-mail, will
recognize many similarities between Yahoo Mail and the Web-based
version of Outlook.

Golvin said Yahoo is looking to keep existing customers happy more
than winning new Yahoo Mail users. "This is more about cementing
greater loyalty of customers that might have been casting their eye at
(rival) Gmail," he said.

It will be offered initially to heavy e-mail users in the United
States and then be progressively offered to all Yahoo e-mail users
over the next several months, a spokeswoman said.

The upgrade will become available to Yahoo users in Europe, Asia, and
around the world in coming months. During a test period, users will be
able to switch between the new version and the existing version of
Yahoo Mail to compare features.

The new version of Yahoo Mail is available on the Microsoft Internet
Explorer browser for Windows and on Firefox for both Apple and
Windows-based computers.

Further details can be found at

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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