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The Troubles With the Yahool Mail Beta 239

An anonymous reader writes "Yahoo Mail recently launched their new webmail service, dubbed Beta (yes just like gmail) no doubt hoping to win back market share in the world of webmail. Their prime competition is gmail, which they've modeled some of the new features on, but Yahoo Mail Beta falls very short of offering a similar experience. The ad infested new Yahoo Mail is patchwork of ideas halfway implemented and glaring usability problems."
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The Troubles With the Yahool Mail Beta

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  • by iMaple ( 769378 ) * on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:41AM (#16265067)
    The article claims that

    yahoomail gives you 1gb, either way it's much more than anyone will ever need.

    Well, I dont know if this is the norm and I am just an exception but my gmail account says "You are currently using 1301 MB (47%) of your 2769 MB."
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      Well that's for a couple of reasons:

      1. GMail has 2769MB currently (and counting)

      2. It's really a new service by "Yahool Mail Beta" and not "Yahoo! Mail Beta". Yahool is a Trademark of Google Inc. and is not to be confused with Yahoo! in any way!
      • by alienw ( 585907 )
        2. It's really a new service by "Yahool Mail Beta" and not "Yahoo! Mail Beta". Yahool is a Trademark of Google Inc. and is not to be confused with Yahoo! in any way!

        What are you smoking?
    • The 2769 MB is what I see as well. Must be the same for most people. :-)

      I'm only using a couple hundred MB, however. I would use more if the gdrive filesystem was available for WinXP/Linux/MacOSX and was completely compatible amongst the three. ;-)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AaronDunlap ( 953673 )
      Gmail is superior in every way to any mail platform except some corp/gov custom environments.

      Once my users understand how it's meant to be used, it's a universal winner.

      What seals the deal is being implemented with SSL POP access... so the dinosaurs who refuse to budge don't have to.

      Better mousetrap

      • "Gmail is superior in every way to any mail platform except some corp/gov custom environments."

        It's better when it comes to how the UI looks (colors, characters) and the lack of add clutter. It's much worse the way it jumbles inbox/etc emails into "groups" that have nothing to do with anything and make it hard to find past received emails. This idea isn't that hot: notice the lack of other companies immitating the useless scrambling of Gmail's folders. (I understand how it is MEANT to be used, and how it
        • by pyros ( 61399 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @12:10PM (#16266205) Journal
          don't like how Gmail is not good at what it is supposed to do and ends up breaking a single "conversation" into several different groups

          I have no idea what you're referring to. For me, a single conversation thread (both sent and received) is displayed all in one page, and I can apply multiple labels to the thread to have the whole thread appear in all relevant categorizations I want without having multiple copies of any of the emails within that thread. Can you clarify what you are seeing?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by maxume ( 22995 )
          The only differences between labels and folders are that you can label something as work+project A+Reference and not be stuck choosing between your work->project A folder or your Reference folder, and it is a bit more difficult to select work+Project A than it is to click on work->Project A.

          For me, it is better; I figured that out when I noticed myself looking for the archive button in other email systems.
          • One important difference is the ability to nest folders.

            I can have a "project" folder, and can have a dozen subfolders inside of it.

            OR, I can have a "work" folder that contains a project folder, and a "consulting" folder that contains a "Project" folder.
        • You're completely right. I've had GMail hide messages from one sender within the nested view of another sender, so I didn't even know I had a new/unopened message. What's wrong with a simple, date-ordered, sender-ordered, or subject-ordered list???
      • Once my users understand how it's meant to be used, it's a universal winner.

        Generally speaking, this is a big point of tension between IT staff and the rest of the company. I worked for companies where the users considered PCs to be glorified typewriters, and only after I realized that my job was to dumb down their computers instead of teaching them to appreciate technology, my job became worthwhile. Since then, I learned to think as the average user, and here's why I recommended everybody in my company

        • by mgblst ( 80109 )
          Once you get used to it, it is better. What more do you need to know. Most things that are an improvement are better. When they first implement folders in Disk Operating Systems, there were whingers like you - It is more complicated, I can't find the file, I like to sort of date, why would I use folders. I can guarantee you that everyone uses folders now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jmelchio ( 681199 )
      In Canada where we get the service through Rogers cable (they partner with Yahoo on their internet offering) we get 2GB of space on our mail accounts. Having said that I find I'm currently only using 430 Mb on my Gmail account and a fraction of that on my Yahoo mail account. Maybe I should get a life, on the other hand, it might show I have one ... you decide.

      Although I prefer Gmail as my main mail account I think the Yahoo mail interface is not bad at all. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread they seem to
    • by pvera ( 250260 )
      It is the norm. Your Gmail space is increased little by little in real time. Log out of gmail and go to the front page, see that the number goes up in real time. Right now it says:

      "Over 2770.008107 megabytes (and counting) of free storage so you'll never need to delete another message."
    • by Cheapy ( 809643 )
      I was gonna say something about the delete button, but then I remembered it was gmail.

      Damn you Google! Always stealing my +5 Funny.
  • Comparitively (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cuteseal ( 794590 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:42AM (#16265073) Homepage
    Well it's certainly not as smooth or polished as Gmail, but I definitely prefer it to Windows Live Mail. I feel it falls into a different kettle of fish to Gmail though. Yahoo Mail attempts to emulate the desktop type feel, while Gmail is just doin' it's own thing. :D
    • Well it's certainly not as smooth or polished as Gmail, but I definitely prefer it to Windows Live Mail.

      Well there's damning it with faint praise, eh?
    • Sound like what Apple is planning to do with the next version [] of .Mac
    • I do tend to prefer yahoo over gmail myself. I do like the feature rich user interface rather than the spartan one. For searching, I think that the simple interface google has works well for me. But when it comes to mail and other services, I prefer something that is a bit richer and has more bells and whistles. The plain interface can get a bit dull after a while in my opinion, I do like having some eye candy. I think the google talk feature could use some more capability, perhaps some chat rooms and games
  • dubbed (Score:5, Funny)

    by Threni ( 635302 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:47AM (#16265101)
    > "Yahoo Mail recently launched their new webmail service, dubbed Beta (yes just like gmail)

    I don't think that word means what you think it means....
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

    • >> "Yahoo Mail recently launched their new webmail service, dubbed Beta (yes just like gmail)

      > I don't think that word means what you think it means....

      So, "to call by a distinctive title, epithet, or nickname" isn't one of its meanings []?
  • by Yo Grark ( 465041 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:50AM (#16265109)
    I've taken a look at it and think it's WAY better than MSN Mail for a feature-to-feature comparrison. It's faster, and just flows a lot better without any annoying banner ads.

    Gmail is for plain mail. Yahoo seems to be for those who want the outlook emulation via web-browser. Gmail never captured my interest in the look/feel of an outlook replacement.

    Yahoo has a way to go to get me to switch, but for a yahoo-hater in the past like me, I have to give them a thumbs up for the effort.

    Yo Grark
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DuncanE ( 35734 ) *
      Because of course we all want to be using Outlook right??!!

      Gmail has real innovation in an email client. Discussion topics are grouped, labels are better than folders and "archive and search" has changed the way I file emails - who needs an elaborate outlook style folder structures, just archive and search ;-)

      I'm so used to Gmail for my personal email that I have installed Google desktop search at work (where we HAVE to use outlook) just so I can properly search my emails and I know longer have to spend all
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by raduf ( 307723 )
        Yes! Just why I resisted on beta only a couple of minutes. The second I realised the interface wanted to make me think I'm in outlook I switched back and thought with dread at the moment the "beta" will come off.

        I don't want to use outlook. Or any other replacement really. I tried, honestly, but it's just not the same as web-based email. I'm used to quality, and I don't intend to go a step down. Using AJAX is a nice touch, and it was to be expected, but outlook is definitely not what I want from a mail app.
        • I agree. I've been using Yahoo mail for years. I like it. I tried GMail, but it was very slow and wouldn't even work when I was using Safari. Have these issues been fixed? Maybe, but they weren't when I tried it and now inertia has set in. I check my gmail account now and then, but it's not really giving me any reason to change from Yahoo.

          However, if Yahoo decides that I need to use their new Outlook-type system, that might get me to change to GMail. It just might be more annoying than letting everyone on

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by merreborn ( 853723 )
        Because of course we all want to be using Outlook right??!!

        I know you were being sarcastic, but quite frankly, the answer from millions of office workers would indeed be a resounding "Yes!"

        I know this is slashdot. We're all more technical than that, and loathe outlook for a myriad of reasons. Yahoo! Mail isn't really targeted at us. We're a minority that can never really be pleased anyway.

        The CEO, his executive assistant, HR, and the receptionist, on the other hand, like outlook, because it's what they k
        • The CEO, his executive assistant, HR, and the receptionist, on the other hand, like outlook, because it's what they know.
          How is this insightful? Everyone knows this; everyone says this all the time.

          The sky is blue. Whee-hee-hee I'm insightful!
      • Gmail has real innovation in an email client.

        Like what, other than an awful 'labels' system and slow loading times?
        • by Imsdal ( 930595 )
          Search that works. Have you ever tried the built-in search in Outlook? I am quite a fan of Outlook because I have been subjected to Notes, which is simply the worst piece of crap ever invented. And the integration between e-mail, calendar and addres book in Outlook is way better than both Gmail and Notes. But searching is too slow and too complicated. And too sucky!

          Searching in Outlook works reasonably well through Google Desktop or other similar products. But it's really pathetic that other products shou

  • by Anonymous Coward
    To make one of his point, the guy points out that 828x588 are allocated to Firefox on his desktop. So either he's running on an old CRT monitor at a weird resolution or he's on a 1024x768 screen and he's some kind of a masochist. I don't see the point, in this day and age, to run Firefox in 828x588 when you can go "fullscreen". Note that I don't say you should always run Firefox in full screen (I sure wouldn't a 30" display, for example) and I'm not "defending" webdesigner pooping website that only looks
    • I don't use firefox full-screen except when I need to. My screen resolution is 1280x1024. I have a couple of other windows peeking out from behind the browser window that I also like to keep an eye on. I find it vastly quicker to slide my mouse sideways and click on the window to switch to it rather than use keyboard shortcuts of the taskbar. And unlike alt-tab, I never have to cycle through a few windows - including minimised ones - to get to the one I want.
    • I use virtual desktops heavily (I use twenty-six of them, to be precise), but you really have to accept that some people actually dislike that method of working.

      Windows and Mac (IIRC) have never been very big on the vitual desktop thing, and while I find it second nature, it's important to realise that some people prefer to use a taskbar.

      This kind of debate comes out in user interface design. Some people want to have unique windows for every instance of a program, and others prefer to use tabs. At the
  • by ravee ( 201020 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:56AM (#16265139) Homepage Journal
    The main problem with yahoo mail beta is the time it takes to load the interface in the web browser. It takes much longer to load yahoo beta than it takes gmail to load its mail interface.

    On top of that, when you compare the sheer number of features that come with gmail, yahoo mail falls too short.

    But I do like the new interface of yahoo mail beta - maybe they need to make further refinements and add new features which provide value.
    • by Cheapy ( 809643 )
      The number of features doesn't imply anything about the quality of the features.
    • I can agree with that. I've been using Yahoo mail beta for a fairly long time now. Overall, I like it, once it has finished loading. They need a light version that gets you in faster. AJAX is supposed to improve performance. Their use of AJAX is just reducing performance in hope of simulating Outlook. Yahoo needs to take a step back and rethink their design, or offer a lighter weight faster loading version for the people who want that instead of an Outlook simulation.
  • Come on.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eebra82 ( 907996 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:57AM (#16265147) Homepage
    If only companies who advertise on sites like Yahoo Mail realized that less is more, we wouldn't have this kind of problem.

    Why not pay five times more to get ten times the attention? It's common sense: put your cheap ad on page 23 of a news paper, filled with tons of other ads and you end up paying for very little attention.

    I personally notice the ads on Slashdot every time I visit this page, but if it was filled up, it would just blur into the rest of the page and become less valuable.
  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @09:59AM (#16265157)
    First my background: I was a big Yahoo email guy for a number of years. I started using gmail a couple years ago. I still keep my yahoo email address but don't use it much.

    I find the yahoo approach somewhat old compared to the clean lines of gmail. In particular, after tagging emails in gmail, it's a little hard to go back to the folder paradigm. Another issue is the home page within the email client that doesn't show you your email. If I want yahoo as my home page, I will set it up that way. It also seems somewhat slow (I'm using a 3GHz P4 w/ 2GB ram running firefox on WinXP on a T1 connection) compared to gmail.

    This is totally separate from the gross number of adds on the email site. Thankfully, adblock seems to be able to block out the vast majority of them.

    While I had high hopes for the new yahoo email client (I actually like the site redesign), I think it's too little, too late.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia ( 6573 )
      after tagging emails in gmail, it's a little hard to go back to the folder paradigm.

      While I use GMail for archival of all my e-mail (since 6/22/04), I don't find the labels to be all that great of a feature. In fact, I use them just like I do folders. I tag e-mails based on whatever and then, in order to effectively search, I have to click the tag and then search within the tag (the search function *never* returns what I'm looking for if I search all e-mail)).

      So while I use the tags it's not exactly like
      • by pyros ( 61399 )

        in order to effectively search, I have to click the tag and then search within the tag (the search function *never* returns what I'm looking for if I search all e-mail)).

        Clicking on a label is really just doing a search for that label. If you wanted to search for ubuntu in emailes labeled Linux you could just put "Label:Linux ubuntu" in the search field. You can do the same for things like "From:", "to:", "Subject:", "before:", "after:", and "Date:". You can also put multiple qualifiers (like a couple of l

  • ummm, double click? (Score:4, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @10:09AM (#16265215)
    When I click on a message title, I get about 5 lines of message text displayed in the display area, which is about as convenient as reading the same message off the screen of a cell phone. And this is it, there is no "open message in a new tab/window" or anything like that, this is the only way to view messages.

    I guess genius here never tried to double click any of the messages. It opens it in a new minitab within the Y!mail main window/tab.
    • Double click isn't a "normal" browser interaction. I've been using browsers since "1.0", and it would never occur to me to double click something on a web page. This is the worst temptation of Ajax, btw: duplicating or poorly imitating desktop interactions such as windows, drag & drop, or double-clicking in a page-based medium where they make no sense. Using Ajax to speed screen updates makes sense, but introducing new behaviors that can't be emulated with a page reload does not.
      • by fupeg ( 653970 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @12:46PM (#16266555)
        It's about Outlook. Yahoo is not trying to imitate GMail. They are trying make Yahoo Mail just like using Outlook or Thunderbird or Evolution or Eudora or whatever. That's why they have a preview pane. That's why you double-click to open the message in its own "window." This is how desktop clients do it. Yahoo simply used AJAX to produce the same kind of behavior. Probably the only webmail that would be similar would be Exchange/Outlook webmail (you know the product that introduced XmlHttpRequest before anybody had ever heard of AJAX...)
    • I guess genius here never tried to double click any of the messages. It opens it in a new minitab within the Y!mail main window/tab.

      Oh, of course! Why would anyone be so silly as to think that single-clicking something on a web page would give you the desired result? Just because everything on the web is controlled by single-clicking, and you basically never double-click within a web browser (and sometimes if you do, things get sent twice), of course he should have thought to double-click when single-clic

  • Whatever. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BaldingByMicrosoft ( 585534 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @10:12AM (#16265235)
    Maybe this article will sway the opinion of people who are deciding on a new free email service to join. Hopefully folks will decide on more than this piece of writing.

    The title of the article, "gmail beta vs yahoo mail beta", implies some sort of comparison between the services. What it seems to actually be is a 1,723 word (with associated screen-shots) criticism of Yahoo!'s product.

    I had my Yahoo! email address before PigeonRank was a twinkle in a Google geek's eye. There are things I like and dislike about both Yahoo!'s and Google's interfaces. I consider Yahoo!'s new interface an improvement over the old one -- it's a considerable facelift, and works with IE and Firefox. Bottom line for me is that the real value of their services lies not in their interface, but the ability to exchange information. Yahoo! is more valuable to me, because folks know they can contact me at that address. It all makes me wonder if the author even bothered to give Yahoo! feedback on their product, or just wanted to show off their l33t ranting ability.
  • by aplusjimages ( 939458 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @10:30AM (#16265357) Journal
    I agree the adds blow, but it doesn't mean that the new Yahoo mail sucks. I like the drop and drag feature. I like the fact that you can see all your mail instead of only 100 at a time. The calander feature at the bottom of the page is cool as well. Does this mean I will give up my Gmail account? No. I'll just keep both.
  • And if I am not mistaken, just like GMail, YMail offers no IMAP support.
    I do not really understand why they do not offer this service which is really handy when you use several computers or operating systems. GMail chose to stick to a strange implementation of POP3 where the mail you sent comes back to you through POP.
    I guess not everybody has the use of an IMAP server, but until then I will continue to use other freemail services.
  • I tried out the yahoo mail beta last week, and I promptly dumped it in favor of the regular yahoo mail. I tried to attach some files to the email while using firefox, but the popup window to select the attachments was so small that I couldn't click on the browse button to find the attachment, I had to use the tab key to get to it. And there wasn't an 'ok' or 'attach' button in sight anywhere. Screw that.
  • by brianerst ( 549609 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @11:26AM (#16265747) Homepage
    The title of this article should really be "Yahoo! Mail has a lot of ads", because that and the lack of "automatic" entry of addresses seems to be the only thing "reviewed".

    Firstly, Yahoo! Mail Beta is a (slightly) reworked version of Oddpost [], which was doing its AJAXy goodness years before Gmail existed. Yahoo! bought Oddpost about three months after Gmail appeared (April 1 vs. July 9, 2004), which may have been a competitive response to gmail, but probably was already in the works. Very early Gmail really only had a few "killer" features, the big one being lots of space (1 gig), which all the major webmail providers matched within a few months (Yahoo! initially went to 100M from 10M, and then quickly moved to 1G). Considering that most people couldn't get a gmail account for months or years, this wasn't exactly an existential threat.

    Even the original Yahoo! Mail was a purchased product (Rocketmail [] by Four11), but it really was an innovation for the day (March 1997). The purchased Oddpost product was also a true innovation (it pretty much was the first major AJAX application that was widely deployed - and isn't AJAX the Slashdot Subject of the Year?).

    Getting to the substance of the "review" - yes, the ads are a bit obnoxious on free Yahoo! accounts. But in order to get his vaunted 20% ratio, the reviewer had to come up with a very specific and somewhat narrow screen resolution (828x588 pixels). The Yahoo! Mail Folder Pane is a fixed size (200 pixels) and has four, two-line ads. The ad pane (which only exists on the free accounts) is 160 pixels. The center pane (tabs, mail folder, preview page) automatically resizes to take up the rest of the page. At my normal viewing size (1200x800), the ads take up about 14% of the space - and considering I use Adblock Plus, it's really just some blank space over on the right.

    The Contact list stuff is even more silly. Yahoo! Mail will automatically add anyone you've ever sent mail to to your Contact list if you want, or ask for confirmation before doing so. Every email you read that came from someone you've never sent an email to has an "add to contacts" button next to the "From:" address (it's a little folder icon with a plus sign). What more exactly do you want? I, for one, don't want anyone who has ever sent an email to me to be a "contact" - that would clutter up my contacts. The GUI for handling contacts, adding them to lists, adding more information about them and the like is much slicker and better integrated than the equivalent Gmail version.

    The "ad" for Yahoo! Calendar on the bottom isn't an ad at all - it's a single line that lists your next 3-4 calendar items. It's rather new (it only appeared about a week ago or so) and gives you a nice GUI for scanning upcoming calendar items and quickly adding a new one. Yahoo! was (rightly) being hammered for not upgrading its Calendar to the same AJAXy-goodness of the beta email, so again, what's the harm? Apparently, they need to add a "turn this off" button or right-click menu option to satisfy the reviewer. Sure, that'd be nice but it's not something I'm worrying about one week into the new functionality.

    And that's the "review of the review". What the reviewer leaves out is all the really great features of Yahoo! Mail. It does just about everything the way a standalone mail client does - slick GUI, drag-and-drop, a multi-tabbed interface integrated into the client, message searching (results go into their own tab) and a whole bunch more. In my experience, the spam filter has been a lot better than gmail's.

    I like both mail systems, but for average users, Yahoo!'s is a whole lot more natural and useful. I'd love to see message threading in Yahoo! and a slicker GUI in gmail.

    • I tried the Yahoo beta and quit it twice. I couldn't stick with it, because:
      a) It was simply WAY too slow, on a cable modem
      b) Yes, I had the same problems with the arrangement/visual look at 1024x768. Hotmail's new interface has this same problem.
      c) Too many elements constantly loading, loading, loading. I had to turn off my navigation sound, because it was driving me insane.
      d) new mail notification didn't happen until I reload the inbox folder

      There were other reasons, but these are the ones that I see s
      • I've only occassionally had a "too slow" experience with Yahoo! Mail. I do agree that when it gets slow, it sucks. But I use it as my primary email environment and out of the dozens of times a day I've used it over the past year, I'd say I had real speed issues maybe half a dozen times. I will occassionally get the "loading, loading" thing when scrolling thru my main inbox, but as 90% of my daily emailing tkaes place in the top three pages of emails, I don't see it very often.

        On my primary account there,

  • by teflaime ( 738532 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @11:44AM (#16265953)
    still hates yahoo mail! News at 11. Yahoo Mail Beta isn't that bad. Sure, it's a little annoying (I liked the old yahoo mail). Sure, they are trying to draw users back to boost their advertising rates (that's what you get with a free webmail client, people!). But the interface is more outlook like than gmail like (that will give them some fans, and some haters). Honestly, it is no worse than it was before, and it's not really much better. If you liked the old yahoo interface, you can function in this one, and it's no more intrusive that the last one was. If you didn't this one isn't going to win you over.
  • Alpha, Beta, Gamma (Score:3, Insightful)

    by freaker_TuC ( 7632 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @12:48PM (#16266585) Homepage Journal

    I've been using the Alpha/Beta/Gamma symbols behind the major.minor version since I've been programming (and thats now over 13 years). Like v0.1a was very early stage, 0.9b was almost a version. At a certain time I even went from A till R ; just because the updates were too minor but too important to be left out of my products at that time; since lots of programs were doors written for Remote Access and Proboard.

    Yahoo is to my opinion using the beta tag with all respect ; just as you should respect the beta-tag which means all bugs and glitches will be ironed out in later versions.

    Too bad they don't keep version files around so you can see the around-the-clock work of programming such new application towards their millions of subscribers. I don't use Yahoo mail; I don't know what even changed since their last interface; but Beta still means "Beta - in test - to be fixed - with trial and error".
  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @01:36PM (#16266971)

    The new Yahoo mail is based upon Oddpost, which was among the first "rich client" web applications developed. It's a rags to riches story, because the pair of guys who developed (Ethan Diamond now product director for Yahoo! Mail at Yahoo! and Iain Lamb) worked through the night at SF coffeeshops because they didn't have an office. Their early program was IE-centric and refused to run on any other browser, but this wasn't a severe limitation for many home users (although it caused me frustration at work). The software generated quite a bit of interest in the press, although at the time (early 2000s) they advertised it as offering only 50MB of storage (amusingly enough, there was nothing built into the program to check -- you could pack your mailbox insanely full).

    The company stood out because their app looked like a "real" desktop app at a time when Hotmail was the ultimate web-based mail experience for most people. In the end, they leased a funky little office and managed to get funding to help the company grow. Their business model was simple (and probably not that effective) -- they sold low-cost annual subscriptions to individual users and offered a more expensive corporate package for companies that wanted to deploy the software on their own servers.

    Many early users were saddened when their development seemed to go "dark" -- no more site updates, no more quirky news announcements. Many were certain that they were on the verge of closing down when a press release came out late on a Friday afternoon announcing that they'd been purchased by Yahoo! for a rumored $28m. It took a couple of years of hard work, but "Oddpost 2.0" has morphed into a much better email system than Yahoo! formerly had. It's definitely slanted at the casual user who's familiar with MS Outlook, but that's not such a bad thing. My biggest gripe is the non-standard shortcuts. Still, this is a fantastic rags to riches success story.

  • Yahoo! has also relesased the User Interface Library (dubbed YUI Library) it has used to create at least some of the YMail interface under the BSD License. []

    I've not spent much time playing with it, but it looks like an interesting collection of code.
  • At the time I set up my yahoo email account, getting a google email account was like getting accepted into some exclusive snotty club.

    Google may have changed, but now it's not worth changing accounts. Yahoo is adequate, there is not *that* big a difference.
  • by code65536 ( 302481 ) on Sunday October 01, 2006 @08:31PM (#16270687) Homepage Journal
    I often like to compare Gmail to a web-based mouse-enabled version of Pine (especially if you turn on the keyboard shortcuts!). Yahoo! Mail is obviously an attempt to emulate Netscape Mail, Outlook Express, etc.

    It's two different paradigms and they're really not strictly comparable. For people who are more tech-savvy who are used to dealing with Pine on a Unix terminal or for those who are highly utilitarian, Gmail is great. For those who have been brought up on years of Outlook Express and are used to drag and drop, Yahoo! is great. More than anything, what someone thinks about the new Yahoo! mail really depends on that person's preferences and set of experiences.

    On that note, here is my personal opinion: I love Pine and I love Gmail. :P Yahoo! Mail is very slow (esp. on my 800 MHz Celeron laptop). Ultimately, I think that the fundamental problem with Yahoo! mail is that it uses AJAX to replicate a desktop paradigm on the web. Google, on the other hand, recognizes that the web is a fundamentally different medium and thus uses AJAX to create a web app with an interface paradigm that is appropriate for the web. The web is not the desktop, and I think that it needs a different approach that does not involve blindly porting over a desktop interface. But that's just my personal opinion...
  • I have an ancient Yahoo (originally Geocities) email box that I check every few days. I like the new interface. It's nice to be able to highlight multiple messages with the shift-down arrow and have tabs for each message window, and other things that make it much more like a full email client than anything I've seen elsewhere.

    I wouldn't personally switch, mostly since I don't use "free" email anymore. But I have recommended other people to at least try it before opening yet another gmail account.
  • Flame on!

    There was a time when my machine could only do one thing at once. Then a feature called "windows" was introduced by various companies and now I could do multiple things at once.

    Gmail is firmly stuck in the 1980s.

    With Yahoo I can actually compose multiple emails while referencing multiple emails. I do this on my desktop, why shouldn't I be able to do it on the net? I'm glad Oddpost and Yahoo brought web email out of the dark ages and I'm sad that gmail is still firmly stuck in the past.
  • I can't even see what the new Yahoo Mail looks like. I can't seem to open it in any browser, either in Linux or Windows. And I have problems with the old Yahoo Mail in Firefox, too. I was seriously considering dumping my Yahoo account, now they put me a little bit closer to that.

Loose bits sink chips.