Yahoo! Mail is the largest web-based email service on the planet, although closely followed by another free service Windows Live Hotmail. As of 2008 Yahoo! Mail began offering unlimited mail storage to its users, a necessary strategy to ensure that it continues to beat off aggressive competitors in the free-web email market. Yahoo! continue to offer two entirely different interfaces to its users, one being an Ajax interface with striking similarities in functionality and appearance to Microsoft Outlook.
Yahoo Mail: www.yahoomail.com
A guide to www.yahoomail.com, a free email service provided by Yahoo!
Many users still choose to use the traditional full-page-scroll 'Yahoo! Mail Classic' interface which was active between 1997-2006, an option which Yahoo felt necessary in order prevent the alienation of their existing massive user-base. Yahoo Mail! Beta was fully integrated with the equally popular Yahoo! Messenger service in June 2009, allowing users to communicate with each other instantly through either email or chat without the need to switch screens and with no software download or pop-up required. It is this constant willingness to embrace innovative browser based programs which has seen Yahoo! comfortably retain its market share within this particular area of the online market. The Messenger integration has not only been made available with the newest interface, but also the Mail Classic version.
In the early internet boom years an email service was seen as essential for the growth of any serious multi-market online enterprise, particularly as it would result in traffic returning to a site on a daily basis. Yahoo! identified the need to offer an email service in November 1996, and they have been quoted as saying that there were initial discussions as to whether to "build, buy or rent." in order to achieve their objectives. Yahoo! were the first company to make offers for Hotmail and Mirabilis when they were placed on the market, however they both proved far too expensive with Hotmail selling to Microsoft for $400m and Mirabilis going to AOL for $288m. Eventually Yahoo! acquired the business Four11 for $96m, with the most attractive aspect of that business having been its recently launched Rocketmail. The decision was ultimately made to use the Rocketmail technology as the 4-6 months that a new system would have taken to develop would have resulted in Hotmail and other competitors gaining too much of a head start in the market. The business soon grew at an astonishing rate.
Such was the popularity of Yahoo! email services that they were able to successfully launch a paid email service 'Yahoo! Mail Plus' in November 2002, which offered a number of exciting new features and some massive storage capacities (relative to technology at the time). It was not long however before a competitor entered the market with a product which exceeded the storage capabilities of any free, and most paid, web-based email services. That business was of course Google with their initially invitation-only 'Gmail', which was the first free email provider to offer 1Gb of online storage. The result was an online frenzy, in which almost all serious service providers began to raise their storage limits in order to appease and retain customers. Yahoo! Mail at one point had to raise their storage capacity to 1Gb in order to come in line with Hotmail and Gmail, before it made a swift decision to avoid a power struggle lift the storage quotas altogether. Yahoo! have offered free unlimited storage email accounts altogether.
Yahoo! Mail at one point had to raise their storage capacity to 1Gb in order to come in line with Hotmail and Gmail, before it made a swift decision to avoid a power struggle lift the storage quotas altogether. Yahoo! have offered free unlimited storage email accounts altogether.
The latest Yahoo! Mail interface includes the following features:
- Yahoo! Calender Integration
- Yahoo! Messenger Integration
- Windows Live Messenger Integration
- SMS messaging (dependant on country)
- Keyboard Shortcuts
- Unlimited Storage
- Applications! (Including Flickr, Wordpress, and many more)
- Advanced Search Facilities