Webmail Webmail Webmail

Further to the last post about Windows Live Mail v Gmail.

I know many people like to use POP and IMAP email through a client like MSOutlook or Thunderbird. Of course I've used these myself and see many advantages, quick loads, offline reading etc. but there are huge advantages in using webmail. Thanks to always-on broadband, most of us have a constant internet, so we no longer need to quickly connect and collect. The long suffering problem for webmail though has been slow loading of pages for each and every message you want to look at. But thats been changing thanks to the new services being provided by the likes of Google, Microsoft and Yahoo and their implementation of AJAX scripting. I wanted to get a good look around these new webmail services what the best is.

I started my webmail days with the then wonderful hotmail (I guess it was AOL, but they suck, so I try to forget about that). I've now been wooed away by Gmail (google mail) thanks in large to super smooth loading, simplicity and nearly 3GB of storage. There are also firefox extensions and other apps whereby you can use all this space as online storage thanks to a good third-party API implementation. This 'beta' has been spreading on invitation only for quite a while now and is proving very popular.

So hotmail have countered with Windows Live Mail - you have to click the 'try beta' by the title at sign-in. They didn't support firefox at first, then they did, now they don't again. Most of you will still be using Internet Explorer (God help us!) so this won't be too much of a problem, but even in IE it still uses up to much header space with banner ads. This means the whole email package is squeezed into the bottom half of the screen. They also fill up the right side with banner ads, this is all leaving little space for the serious business of email. Still, it does feel like using outlook express and is fast.

So the third contender for the crown is yahoo!. I've signed up with these guys a few times before, this time to use their messenger service (please o' webgod, when do we get a universal messenger?) but as always with them I've found the whole experience heavily ad laden. The whole 'beta' webmail experience though was a hell of a lot better than Windows Live. They even have they neat, if not pointless function of dragging and dropping emails into the trash. Also, it all works fine in firefox! All in all, it's not too shabby.

Conclusion as to which is the best? Gmail by a head and shoulders. It has so many more innovative functions, eg grouping replied to emails, tagging rather then putting emails in folders, integrated googletalk. Also, the discreet text ads that you hardly notice and certainly don't interfere make Gmail a winner.

If you want a gmail invitation, just mail me through my profile and I'll send you one.

posted by SkinOfStars @ 6:36 pm,


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