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Yahoo! Mail Beta Goes Public 262

prostoalex writes "After months of being tested via limited beta, Yahoo! Mail Beta, developed after Oddpost acquisition, is now available to the world. From the review: 'The new Yahoo Mail Beta is touted as being as functional as a desktop email client (such as Outlook). Other new features include an integrated calendar timeline (including mashups with Yahoo Maps), drag and drop e-mail organization, message preview, tabs for messages, plus an integrated RSS reader.' Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg was using Yahoo! Mail Beta back in September of last year and wrote the following: 'I've been comparing the new version of Yahoo Mail, which claims to be the leader in Web mail, with Gmail, the challenger Yahoo most fears. My verdict: The new Yahoo Mail is far superior to Gmail. Yahoo more closely matches the desktop experience most serious email users have come to expect. Gmail, by contrast, is quirky and limited. Its only advantage is its massive free storage, which exceeds what most people will ever need.'"
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Yahoo! Mail Beta Goes Public

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  • Ads (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PHAEDRU5 ( 213667 ) <instascreed&gmail,com> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:20PM (#16108206) Homepage
    My God! Those ads really get in your face.

    I can only see so many half-page ads about going back to school to get a nursing degree.
    • My God! Those ads really get in your face. Here the difference is evident when you look at Yahoo's ads versus Google's adwords.
      Plus, I remember the reasons I moved towards GMail in the first place:
      • No-nonsense POP access with other email clients (ie. outlook) so I don't even have to use the web-UI if I prefer. Yahoo's alternative could have been YPOPS [] but it seemed clunkier with an extra layer loaded in the background.
      • No 'Signup for [Hot/Yahoo/*]Mail today!' plug attached to each outgoing message
      • Gma []
      • The POP access is the main thing for me, and it is part of a trend. They also provide a Jabber compliant chat account, rather than some proprietary protocol that can only talk to Yahoo chat subscribers. Now the install base for Jabber is not huge right now, but for those who use it internally for their company or who just want a choice of clients it is a big bonus. Go open standards! Boo proprietary lock-in.

    • by mspohr ( 589790 )
      What ads?

      I've been using Yahoo Mail for months and have never seen an ad...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tashanna ( 409911 )

      Just looking at my newly created Yahoo Mail (BETA!) inbox, I've got ads for a new mortgage, credit cards, university degrees, my credit score, internet stalking tools (find that e-mail!), and new telephone service. It's fricking spam before I even get any e-mail to get pissed off about. My Google inbox view has ads for ... none, nada, zip, zero, zilch. I wonder what happens when I actually get an e-mail - which they havn't delivered yet (sending or receiving).

      The (Bayasian filter) score thus far:
      Google =

    • I want email to be fast. Pine fast. And so after getting an invite to switch to Yahoo mail beta in May (or so), I used it for 5 days, then switched back to regular yahoo mail. The bouncing ball, the adverts...does Yahoo not recognise that we might have only 3-4 minutes to check our email at work?

      Is Gmail primitive in appearance by comparison? Sure, but it works, and it is significantly faster. Usefully faster. I won't be switching back.
    • by zerkon ( 838861 )
      and you can always tell when someone mails you something from a yahoo account (without looking at their address) I use my gmail account for one thing, server backup. sound strange? I have a simple forward, and only give out my gmail account, which then proceeds to forward all email to my server in the closet. HD drives on my server? no matter, all my email is still safely(sic) in google's hands
  • If Yahoo Mail is anywhere as good as My Yahoo, it's gotta be great. My Yahoo lets me throw a ton of media RSS (RSS w/Images inline) and text RSS feeds on one page that are easy to view. Now I only wish it let me combined a bunch of feeds into one box and I'd be perfectly happy. Yahoo creates great simple UIs, so I imagine yahoo mail beta is fantastic.
    • by Intron ( 870560 )
      I've been using it during the beta. It is nice looking, but slow compared to the old mail interface. It is very AJAXy like the new /. interface.
    • by ProppaT ( 557551 )
      A lot of people would argue exactly the opposite. As someone who works greatly with UIs and UI design, I find Yahoo!'s UI's are generally confusing loads of crap. They're busy and try to give you everything at once instead of letting the user logically navigate themselves to their destination.
    • Yeah, but can also let you throw your RSS feeds into one place. Plus, no blinking banners across the top!

      What I *really* like about google is that I can also format my personalized page for mobile access. Not only can I now easily read my RSS feeds on my blackberry, but google also filters/adapts links from the RSS for mobile access.
      • IG looks gross, the fonts are massive and the layout is terrible :(. I'd love something better, but IG isn't it.
  • by The Dalex ( 996138 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:22PM (#16108229)
    To be honest, I'm not looking for a desktop-style web-based e-mail client with loads of features. I use Gmail because I never need to worry about deleting anything and I can run a search through all my mail in seconds. For me, I just need a permanent e-mail address for personal correspondence, and my work e-mail (Exchange-based) does everything I need as far as scheduling, etc. It may be the best web-based e-mail client in the world, but it has nothing I need that I don't get from Gmail, and I'm sure a lot of people will need some serious convincing in order to get them to change their e-mail addresses.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dracvl ( 541254 )

      I'm sure a lot of people will need some serious convincing in order to get them to change their e-mail addresses.

      What's particularly relevant here is that

      • GMail is one of the few the only web-based mail that you can actually abandon (it has support for forwarding to other addresses)
      • I would bet there are more than 10 times time as many people with a account than with a Gmail account out there

      I prefer Gmail myself, though — for exactly the reason that it doesn't try to be a desktop em

    • by tommertron ( 640180 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:56PM (#16108571) Homepage Journal
      I highly agree. The thing I don't understand about the review he gave was that he seemed to be saying Yahoo won the web based e-mail war bacause it emulated the desktop experience so well. Umm, who decided that the Outlook-e-mail experience was perfect?

      I love Gmail because the conversation threading is a great way to read a lot of of emails, labels are much more versatile than folders, and fast, fast search.

      Oh, and like someone else mentioned, it doesn't stick a damn ad at the end of my e-mail like Yahoo does. Drag and drop is great, but labels are just as easy to apply and can work just the same as folders simply by moving the mouse as well.

    • As long as it's "good enought" it's good for yahoo - the main source of visits to yahoo servers is for mail (50% of their traffic). If they lose mail users against Gmail and hotmail (hotmail is also ajax now) they lose most of their users
    • unfortunately for google, it's actually the other way around. y! has a much larger user base. it's google that needs to give users a reason to switch. beyond the initial hype, the only reason would have been the 2gb limit. now y! has a 1gb limit, which is more than 99.99% of the users will ever need anyway and a vastly more familiar (and therefore usable to the avg user) user interface.
  • Quirky indeed.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:24PM (#16108241)
    And Gmail's address book, unlike Yahoo's, doesn't allow you to collect contacts into group addresses.

    -from the article.

    It's important to note that this statement is no longer true, despite the fact that it was back in 2005. Gmail may no longer be as "quirky and limited" as Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg once thought.
    • I think you are right, but I would go further. I don't believe Gmail has ever been quirky and limited. I think it has been a largely successful, and determined, attempt to change the email storage paradigm, and Mossberg is scared of change.

      Fact: Searching with Gmail is quicker than sorting stuff into folders.
      Fact: Conversation view makes it much more obvious the flow of communication between participants.
      Fact: Labels are folders, if you want that to be true.

      The only thing it doesn't have is drag-and-drop, a
  • ads (Score:5, Interesting)

    by don'tyellatme ( 837496 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:25PM (#16108252)
    i think i'll keep my text ads (and my sanity) thank you very much. that alone is enough that i'll never try it out.
  • I like it but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Raineer ( 1002750 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:25PM (#16108258)
    I have used Yahoo Mail Beta for a long time, and I do like the interface however there is alot of "lag" associated with it. Moving from folder to folder takes a good amount of time, and if you are accessing it from a slower PC this is very noticable.

    I have not compared to Gmail however, but the lag gets to me.
    • The cpu lag problem is nothing compared to the dialup problem.

      When I moved out the sticks there was no dsl, no cable , and satelite was too way expensive. That left me with modem over ancient phone lines (how 20th century!). A friend gave me a 56k modem with which I found I was able to connect at a MIGHTY 22k baud.

      The new Yahoo mail was COMPLETELY unusable. It couldn't get past the loading screen.

  • by n2art2 ( 945661 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:26PM (#16108264) Homepage
    And I love it.

    Well I love it when I'm at work. because it works at work on my Windoz box. But it does not work on my Mac at home. I use firefox both at work and home (sometimes safari at home as well) and doesn't matter what browser I use at home cause it doesn't work. Now I did get an error message back when I first started using the beta, and it said something to the effect that Yahoo does not currently support Mail Beta on OS X, and that it would revert to standard mail, until further notice.

    So the biggest question is. . . Why Firefox on XP but not Firefox on OS X??? AND. . . With it being now publicly available, does it now work with OS X as well?

    Guess I'll find out when I get home.
    • by tji ( 74570 )
      I have used it from MacOS several times using FireFox. I'm not sure why it wouldn't work for you.

      I don't use it often, the ads are way too annoying, and the interface is slow.
    • by Ilgaz ( 86384 )
      Let me give bad news, Safari not supported. It was been talked for a while, some even got idea of starting a petition.

      Funny and sad fact is, Netscape mail "upgraded" to AOL mail and it is very similar to this Flash/Ajax thing yet works perfectly and supported perfectly on Safari.

      I got Omniweb 5.5 stable here, it is running Leopard like Webkit, as it has spoofing capabilities I set it to show it like Firefox latest (Windows) and it didn't work. Doesn't go past login screen, a guy jumps up and down on a baloo
  • please define (Score:2, Interesting)

    Yahoo more closely matches the desktop experience most serious email users have come to expect.

    What does this mean? "Serious email users"...isn't this just a kind way of saying "people without myspace, aim, or irc".... i write tons of emails but most of them are far from serious
    • "Serious" = wants more than Myspace messages and Hotmail, but not "serious" enough to setup/contract their own email server and stop using unprofessional webmail.

      "serious" is a relative term, apparently.
  • Yahoo Fanboy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by prothid ( 302906 ) <slashdot.unfit@org> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:27PM (#16108280) Homepage
    This guy that submitted this appears to be a tad biased, even a Yahoo fanboy. There is a Yahoo category on his blog with over 40 entries, and no Google category. So, there's not a wonderfully balanced point of view here. I'd take his "verdict" with a grain of salt, flamebait at best. []
    • Re:Yahoo Fanboy (Score:5, Informative)

      by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:46PM (#16108472) Journal
      Yeah, I think he's a bit more than a fanboy. FWIW, I actually love my Yahoo! Mail account (and I promise you I'm not affiliated with them), but...going to the link above the first heading I see is Yahoo! Tech gets a facelift. That article starts with this text:

      We changed the face of Yahoo! Tech front page today

      That's a wee bit more than a fanboy speaking. Or you could just do the google thing and find this bio [] as the first link.

      Alex Moskalyuk is a full-time Technical Yahoo!...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by dylan_- ( 1661 )
        Or you could just do the google thing and find this bio as the first link.

        Alex Moskalyuk is a full-time Technical Yahoo!...
        Wow...using Google to search Yahoo...that's really rubbing it in! ;)
  • by Em Adespoton ( 792954 ) <> on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:33PM (#16108352) Homepage Journal
    The reason I switched from Yahoo mail to GMail was the fact that within minutes of creating a Y!Mail account, I had all sorts of spam coming in. Eventually the noise to signal ratio was so bad that I gave up. Have they fixed that with the latest version? If not, I'll pass.
    • by L7_ ( 645377 )
      I hear you there.

      Yahoo! mail's filter is getting worse. I get at least 6-8 spam emails a week that make it past the filter and into my inbox. The recent influx has been from spam people linking to geocities websites (is it in Yahoo!'s interest to not block these?). That is my #1 complaint about Yahoo! Mail: Fix your damn filter. Its been broken for awhile, and I even consistently report the spam, yet it seems to do nothing.

      OTOH, my Gmail account gets spam, but I have never yet seen any mislabeled messages.
      • by mspohr ( 589790 )
        I rarely see a spam message in my Yahoo mail although my "spam" folder is full of it. Yahoo's spam filter is much better than my Thunderbird filter.
        • by L7_ ( 645377 )
          It must be the lists that I am on. I get spam/phishing emails like this all the time, and yahoo does nothing about them.

          The XXXXX's in the to: field are commented out prefix, sent to common words The view status link goes to a different Yahoo user's geocities account (I have never visited, I am not sure what they contain: probably bad stuff). I'm not going to link it here, but they are generally some name and then a string of numbers (like the spam originator's account name). Note that these ema
    • Ive had pretty good experience's with yahoo mail and spam myself, well lack of spam actually. Ive been pretty smart with my yahoo address as well, the only spam I get is from stuff I know Ive signed up for. I've liked the service enough to pay for the mail plus thing(ad free, pop,disposable addresses).

      As for the beta it seems pretty good, I can't comment on the annoyance of the ads sence I don't see them (the mail plus transfers over to the beta it seems) but it does work under linux firefox
  • by lewp ( 95638 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:45PM (#16108454) Journal
    Seriously, what advantage does a desktop-style mail client -- especially one that's just simulated in a browser -- have over Gmail's simple, intuitive, fast interface with great integrated search capabilities? Maybe it's easier for an Outlook user to make the transition, but Gmail is so simple I don't see that being much of a factor.

    Gmail got me to give up mutt. It's pretty damn good.
    • Things like ctrl and shift modified selections and right click menus....
      • by lewp ( 95638 )
        See, you're saying the same thing the article is, "Yahoo! Mail Beta behaves like a desktop mail client. OooOoooOOo it does menus and you can CTRL+Click to select stuff..."

        What I'm saying is, if you can implement a mail client that works just as effectively that doesn't need CTRL/SHIFT+Click selecting, drag & drop, or right click menus, why should you care if it's missing?
        • It may not need these features, but it is a standard interface which requires zero learning to use effectively and efficiently...
    • by mspohr ( 589790 )
      I've been using Gmail for a year now and I still haven't figured out the interface and how it lists and threads messages. I'm always lost in it. It is a very quirky interface.

      I only use it for archiving mail since it does have a great search capability.

      • by lewp ( 95638 )
        It lists messages in the order they come in. Any replies to those messages are kept in a "conversation" with the original message. Threaded view in Thunderbird or mutt does basically the exact same thing.
    • Seriously, what advantage does a desktop-style mail client -- especially one that's just simulated in a browser -- have over Gmail's simple, intuitive, fast interface with great integrated search capabilities?

      A desktop-style mail client can read messages from the IMAP server running in my closet. I'm pretty sure Gmail and Yahoo! Mail Beta don't do that, though they could if they wanted to.

  • Advantages? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bilbo ( 7015 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:49PM (#16108493) Homepage
    Well, that and it's online search capability.

    Remember, Google means search. The reason why Google mail is "quirky" is that it is a completely different approach to organizing your saved mail. That means learning a whole different way to deal with looking back through old messages to find things.

    Frankly, I haven't used gmail enough to really get comfortable with it, but I can see how some people wouldn't like it. However, comparing it with Outlook is counterproductive. Gmail doesn't even try to look like Outlook, because it has whole different vision of the world.

  • For those who've been watching livehttpehaders [] while looking at Yahoo! Mail Beta would have noticed something cool and awesome. Here's a snip from my dump. tMessage&appid=...&wssid=...

    <SOAP-ENV:Envelope xmlns:SOAP-ENV=" velope/"
    <m:GetMessage xmlns:m="urn:yahoo:ymws"><;fid>Inbox</fid>...

    The client to server protocol is SOAP and pretty much should be accessible with a standard soap li

  • Gmail has free POP3 (Score:3, Informative)

    by SaberTaylor ( 150915 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @04:52PM (#16108529) Homepage Journal
    It makes sense to have the option of removing your email from online storage.
    Yahoo has that option but it costs money. Possibly that has changed.

    Another of Gmail's "only advantage" [sic] is that you can change the "From:" header to other email addresses after authentication. Yahoo only offers "Reply-to:" modification. (Unfortunately, Microsoft Outlook uses the "Sender:" header in email display.)
  • by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:01PM (#16108640)
    as being as functional as a desktop email client (such as Outlook)
    So, how's it compare with a decent email system, such as Scalix? Or a desktop client that's not a single-OS, closed source virus farm, such as Thunderbird?

    Comparing to outlook, man, that's like comparing your product to a painful rectal itch.

  • I am extremely pleased with the upgrade. They have eliminated almost all of the complaints I have had over the years about the interface. There are still things to be ironed out but I have been using the new interface since they made it available and have never thought about switching back. I have a GMail account but have not really used it since I have had my Yahoo account for years. When the ISP field was awash with independents and switching providers happened regularly I got tired of letting my friends
  • by Randolpho ( 628485 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:25PM (#16108855) Homepage Journal
    I've been in the Yahoo Mail beta for some time now, and it is a solid web-based email, with a lot of nifty features. The pros are not strong enough for me to switch permanently from GMail, however. But that's personal preference.

    Yahoo Mail has an overall look/feel very similar to a desktop email client. *cough*Outlook*cough* The integration with RSS, maps and calendars is very nice, search is fast and relevant, being able to drag-drop everything is fun, and the tabbed email interface is a great way to quickly switch between different emails that you have open.

    That said, there are some cons, and they're doozies. The first is the ads. Tons of 'em, each pretty flashy, and they're all over the place... and strategically placed near locations you're likely to click. The other is just an annoyance factor, and may in fact be limited to IE, since I haven't used Yahoo Mail in anything other than IE. Yes, I use IE. Anyway, whenever I do *anything* in Yahoo Mail, such as load an email for reading, or even click over to my inbox, I'm presented with at least a dozen "link-click" sounds. This is just annoying if you use the default XP theme, and if you use a Star Wars theme -- as I sometime do -- a single click action becomse a minute-long lightsaber battle.

    Other than those two complaints, though, Yahoo Mail is a very solid mail client.

    In comparison to GMail, however, I have to stick to GMail. I'd love to see some of the features available in the Yahoo Beta put into GMail, but I can live without 'em. I can't live without GMail's "Conversation" email grouping feature, and I'd rather have Tags than folders any day of the week. And GMail's Archive feature... I had to go searching for something I had archived as unnecessary a few months ago on my GMail account, part of an old somewhat silly conversation now dead. Had I had the conversation through my Yahoo account, I'd have deleted the emails outright.
  • M2 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Espinas217 ( 677297 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:28PM (#16108887) Homepage Journal
    What I'd like to see is an email client with the functionality of Opera's M2. The implementation is not really good, but that is the best way to handle emails. Labels and autogenerated views. That's where some clients are slowly going like Gmail and Thunderird. I hate to waste my time dragin emails from one folder to another. Folders are a nice metaphore but they're just an aid for those who have trouble thinking in abstractions beyond the phisical world.
  • by barthrh2 ( 713909 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:29PM (#16108896)
    My official email is, but I just forward to a gmail account. I need both POP3 access and forwarding (so I can download to a mobile phone). Yahoo gives you only one or the other and won't let you forward Yahoo to Yahoo. GMail allows me to do both. So I forward all email from Yahoo to GMail where I have more options.

    In the end, their goofy policy leads to me reading email using someone else's site -- probably not what they intended.
  • When I click "Options", "Switch Back" or "Sign Out", nothing happens. The Firefox JavaScript Console says: "uncaught exception: Permission denied to get property Function.__parent__

    Anybody else see this, or is my browser foobarred?
  • and I really love it, however there are two annoyances I can't figure out how to get rid of

    1) It's not possible anymore when replying to have the original text indented with > and write your reply inline, gmail is better since if you scroll in the original text and press enter it allows you to separate the vertical bar and write

    2) There is a right-click menu with a lot of functionality and shortcuts, but this is unusable in firefox as firefox's right click menu comes up on top (I assume they have a worka
  • by lostboy2 ( 194153 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @05:45PM (#16109030)
    I've used Yahoo Mail for about a year or so, and gmail (sparingly) for a few months. Some observations:
    • Ads: yeah, there are a lot of them in Yahoo. Thankfully, the big flash ads only appear in the "Mail Home" page. Once you click on a mail folder (like your Inbox), it goes away and you get your list of messages like normal. But, there are also banner ads and little ad/links above and below the folder list. Personally, I've gotten so used to these things that I don't even notice them anymore.
    • Platforms: I've used both IE/Windows and Firefox/OS X with no real problems. It does, however, require Javascript and cookies to be enabled.
    • Speed: I haven't had any problems, but have not tried using this over a dial-up connection. I've actually found it a little faster than my gmail account (which is usually fast, but occasionally seems to hang up between page loads).
    • Sending/Receiving: occasionally I'd receive a response to an e-mail sent to multiple recipients before I'd receive the original message. But, I've never had a problem with anyone not receiving messages I've sent. Occasionally, though, a series of replies and forwards would cause my address to appear in both the To: and CC: lists, causing me to receive multiple copies of the same message.
    • Spam: I've been lucky and haven't gotten any in my Yahoo mail account. It does have SpamGuard for filtering messages. For that matter, I haven't gotten any in my gmail account either, but I haven't had/used that account for very long.
    • Capacity: Yahoo allows ~1GB; GMail ~2GB.
  • Ok, I know I'm being an idiot, but how does one see/use the new Yahoo Mail? I go to, and I still see the same old interface that's been there forever. What do I need to do to activate the new GUI? I checked under options, and didn't see anything.
  • I can't save multiple attachments at once. Lame.
  • by alcohollins ( 64804 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @06:01PM (#16109159)
    But really, who LIKES using outlook express?

    Gmail is far more useful for anyone who wants more than basic mail functionality.
  • 'The new Yahoo Mail Beta is touted as being as functional as a desktop email client (such as Outlook).

    Outlook is functional?
  • Its only advantage is its [gmail's] massive free storage, which exceeds what most people will ever need

    I guess they're Outlook PSTs are only 1.15GB. The size I've got isn't that uncommon from the five people polled in my office. Yes, that's four years worth of email; but when I've got to pull up something from two years ago, I need it.
  • seeks mail with 'the desktop experience' and uses webmail instead of the tons of free or cheap POP3/IMAP mail out there?

    My IMAP mail provides 100% 'the desktop experience' and has a web interface. By that account it beats Yahoo(!) hands down.
    Unlimited space? Mine has that too.
  • have you learned nothing from google?
  • The name (Score:4, Funny)

    by JourneyExpertApe ( 906162 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @07:04PM (#16109590)
    They're calling it Yahoo! Mail Beta? That's the name they came up with? Man, Google should sue them for trademark infringement. They've been calling their web apps that for years. ;)
  • ! YahooMailbeta .vs. Gmail

    YahooMailbeta .vs. AOL/NetscapeMail
  • Clicking on "calenadar" or "notepad" throws me back into old-Yahoo-ness.

    I might give it another look if they bring those features up to the same interface standards.
  • by Traa ( 158207 )
    I know that Yahoo is still popular with lots of folks, but I gave up on then after they repeatedly reset my 'marketing preferences'.

    I set them to "please don't email me ever", and from time to time they then reset them to their default "we will spam you as much as we can".

    No thanks.
  • No Unicode support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bertilow ( 218923 ) on Thursday September 14, 2006 @11:39PM (#16110759) Homepage
    Yahoo Mail is worthless. It can only handle mail in Latin 1 encoding.
    If a message uses Unicode (UTF-8), all non-ASCII characters are
    displayed completely wrong.

    They forgot about Unicode in a new e-mail application in 2006?
    Are they out of their minds?!

    Gmail on the other hand handles Unicode (writing and reading)
    as should every single application developed today.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"