Yahoo Mail adds SMS, drops beta tag
AP[ MONDAY, AUGUST 27, 2007 02:14:25 PM]
SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo Inc. will introduce new features for its popular Web-based e-mail programme, including software that allows computer users to type text messages on a keyboard and send them directly to someone’s cell phone.
The enhancements make it easier to send e-mail, instant messages or text messages from a single Web site – no need to launch or toggle between separate applications or devices. It will take up to six weeks for all the new features to become available to all 254 million Yahoo Mail subscribers in 21 languages worldwide.
The most obvious beneficiaries will be parents, who will be able to use their keyboards to type messages sent to their children’s cell phones – no thumb-twisting typing on a dial pad, said Yahoo Vice President John Kremer.
“We’re giving you the right way to connect at the right time with right person,” said Kremer, whose two preteen sons vastly prefer text and instant messages to e-mail.
The changes come amid fierce competition among providers of free, Web-based e-mail services. Yahoo and Microsoft Corp’s Hotmail have long dominated the niche, but Google Inc’s Gmail has grown quickly since its introduction in April 2004.
In February, Yahoo announced that it would provide unlimited storage space, and earlier this month Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft said Hotmail would increase free storage from 2 to 5 gigabytes. Time Warner Inc’s AOL, the fourth largest e-mail provider, began offering unlimited storage last summer. Google provides nearly 3 gigabytes.