Today Yahoo! released an option-packed email program to all Yahoo! Mail users throughout the USA and 18 markets around the world. The press release provides a glimpse into what this new product offers:

“Highlights of the Yahoo! Mail beta include a sleek, easy-to-use interface with the speed and responsiveness of a desktop application. The latest version also features innovative online calendar integration and provides a fast, efficient experience with enhanced functionality, such as drag and drop e-mail organization, message preview and an integrated RSS reader.”

My Take?
First I must be clear; I love GMail and do not intend to switch email providers. Now that that is out of the way, I have to admit this new and improved Yahoo! Mail is chock full of temptations that I can only hope Google will emulate to some degree. For example it offers, tabbed messages (like the slick tabbed browser windows in Firefox), drag & drop organization using folders similar to Outlook (I like!), RSS feed integration (Google has this available but separately), 1 gig of storage, better search options for emails and attachments, and a spam and security protection system. Here is a full list of the features with more detail.

This new layout from Yahoo! is sure to secure them some more users and solidify their current following. The tabbed email feature is positively brilliant and had better be integrated into GMail at some point. After all, the way that the various programs such as Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheets, Google Reader (etc.), are navigated is completely clunky (new windows open and require separate login). It seems a logical move to add a unified login area for GMail users with Tabs for each application added to the user’s profile.

Whatever happens between these two search giants one thing remains undeniable, mail hosting is becoming (or is) a money making industry so this continuing competitiveness can do nothing but increase the quality of service and freebies we all receive in the end. Of course, the final and more relevant benefit to us site owners/marketers is an increase in the viewership for our PPC and organic rankings.