Mail betas

So I’ve been using the new beta services from both Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, and I’m slightly underwhelmed.

Both Yahoo and MS seem to think that users want their webmail to work exactly like their POP email client. Which is just wrong: having a clunky, slow, messy web interface that looks like a mutated version of Outlook is probably not how people want to read their webmail. The key thing for me reading webmail is that everything is as responsive as possible: which is why I love Gmail Google Mail so much – the Ajaxified pages let you flick straight into and out of emails, compose new ones, etc… and I love the keyboard shortcuts.

That said, of the two, Yahoo are doing it much better. They have the ads in right place so that they’re not too intrusive, and so that you actually get more than about 2 square inches of frame in which to read your mails. But: abdicate, find a friend with Gmail invites, and get a new, bling, Google account… (I have a 100 invites for anyone who wants an account…)