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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

New Yahoo! Mail Goes Beta Tomorrow

Finally going to be in limited beta release.

Yahoo Mail Beta

Ok, first disclaimer. I work for Yahoo. And Darren James, fellow Rico-man & former teammate at Sabre now works for the Y!Mail team. But, before joining he & I were avid gmail lovers. I got in very early in the gmail beta program and evangelized it to all my friends (and enemies ;-).

When I knew I was joining Yahoo, I was concerned that I would have to leave my gmail aside. Of course there is no one at Y! telling me I had to leave it. But it felt wrong to be using the competitor's product and liking it better.

Now, I knew some of the oddpost guys so I was pretty confident that it would be awesome. But would it be better than gmail? On the first day I got hooked into the new Yahoo! Mail.

I was relieved. I actually liked it better than gmail! Not that there aren't a couple of features that gmail has that I still like better. But, seriously the new Yahoo! Mail is better than gmail. I know sounds biased. But really its great.

The first version I got to use was a lot like the original oddpost mail in that it appeared in a separate window with no "browser chrome". Looked like a desktop app. Its own menus, etc. Shortly after joining, they made a decision to move it back into the chrome. Reasons included in the chrome is friendlier to tabbed browsers and popup blockers. I was nervous. Would this screw it up?

But no, due to the excellent product management & design (kudos to Greg Rosenberg!) decisions the in the chrome design is actually better.

Want to read & see some screenshots. Read Ryan Kennedy's blog about it (he works on the Yahoo! Mail web service underlying the new mail client).

Favorite features:
  • Powerful, fast search with snippet view
  • Tabbed search, compose windows for easy window management
  • Fast auto-complete
  • Drag and drop email into address book and it adds users to address book
  • Endless scrolling (same concept as LiveGrid)
  • Nice attachment interface
  • Subject randomizer (can't think of a topic... let it pick one :-)
Watch for the expanding beta and give it a whirl. I think you will agree that it is the best web mail client available.

Update: Sign up for Beta program at:


Simon said...

Does it still add an advert for the service to the bottom of every mail you send with it? GMail doesn't, and for me that's a huge selling point.

Bill Scott said...

No, thankfully it does not.

I double-checked just now by sending some mail to my gmail account. It is ad-free.

I rarely used the Y!Mail classic... guess I didn't remember it did that...

I will confirm with the team if there are any plans for that (I hope not :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bill -- thanks for the props! gregr

Eric Miraglia said...

The new mail client is an epic achievement -- the fidelity they achieved vis-a-vis desktop mail clients while working in the confines of the browser is remarkable. It's one of the best pieces of its kind and a couple of echelons beyond the gmail interface.

This is the one where you'll start saying, "You know, it's not as good as my, but is close. And it's independent of what workstation I'm on. And that's so much better, that this interface is simply good enough now to seriously compete with desktop clients on a serious basis.

Anonymous said...

do you think you can get me an invite?

Anonymous said...

how do we get an invite?

Anonymous said...

how do we get an invite?

Bill Scott said...

The initial set was determined by some complex calculation to give them a good mix of beta users. They will continue to expand the user base over the next couple of months. The best way I know of to get included in the next stages of the beta program is to sign up at

Wish I could do better...

Anonymous said...

Will POP access be free with the new Yahoo! mail, and will all the huge, obtrusive ads be gone? If so, I will switch from Gmail to Yahoo mail. I won't switch from Gmail if I still have to pay for POP or if those big, ugly ads will still be there, because Gmail has free POP and no huge ads.

Belmondo said...

Kind regards

I can't wait, i want now an invite...please!

Bill Scott said...

There will obviously still be advertising. However, due to the real estate that the mail client requires, I would expect a smaller area dedicated to advertising. Needless it to say it will work differently due to not depending on page refresh. I do not know how it will work nor could I comment on specifics.

deboer said...

Please,send me one invite

Anonymous said...

Would some one favor me with an invite please.

Anonymous said...

can u send me an invite please thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi I am a Yahoo user through SBC GLOBAL DSL. I hope us paying customers will not be forgotten. I would assume beta testers are selected on how much they actually use the yahoo mail. I use it solely and would like to lodge a concern that us folks getting service via 3rd parties that are paying dont get forgotten and get a fare stab at the beta just like regular yahoo users.

Thanks M8