Microsoft on Monday announced the release of updates to three Windows 8 core apps, as had been rumored earlier this month. The company says that the updated apps will deliver a much improved Windowsexperience through a combination of performance enhancements and entirely new features.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, may we have your attention. All is right in the world this morning, and you may all commence firing off breakup emails, work communication, chain letters, and whatever else you might use your Gmail account(s) for. Google's popular email service is back up and running after suffering a severe outage that potentially affected up to 35 million Gmail users yesterday.
Yahoo! may no longer be the force it once was, but it continues to be a key player in the webmail market. Here too it’s not much of a trend-setter, though. Yahoo! Mail finally adopted a "two-factor authentication" system last week, more than a year after Widows Live Hotmail and many months after Gmail began utilizing it to improve account security. Hit the jump for more.
Yahoo is denying accusations that it knowingly and willingly censored email messages related to "Occupy Wall Street" protests, a leaderless non-violent resistance movement upset over the disparity of wealth and power in the U.S. Protestors accused Yahoo of foul play when their emails containing a link to the organization's website were flagged as suspicious and blocked from being sent.
A glitch in the Matrix (or some other calamity) has some Yahoo email users shaking an angry fist at the god of electronic messages today. Others have found it more therapeutic to voice their frustrations on Twitter in succinct 140-character or less outrages. Those having trouble accessing their Yahoo email account see an error message stating "This webpage is not available," while others have noted "Error 501 (net::ERR_INSECURE_RESPONSE): Unknown Error," along with other messages. Unfortunately, Yahoo isn't much more enlightening on what's going on.
Yahoo introduced the latest version of its mail service late last year in beta form and has decided it's now ready for prime time. Over the coming weeks, all 284 million users worldwide will start seeing the upgraded platform, as will Yahoo's global partners, including Nokia. Key features of the revamped mail service include improved performance, enhanced spam protection, and a customizable inbox with an emphasis on social networking.
One of the most anticipated tablets of 2011 is Research In Motion's BlackBerry PlayBook, just don't expect it to be the iPad killer anti-iOS fans have been waiting for, at least not at launch. A leaked internal document making the rounds reveals that the PlayBook with ship with several key features missing, including support for email, contacts, and messaging. To use them, you'll need to link up with a BlackBerry smartphone, or use a Web browser.
Following the launch of the new AOL.com is an ambitious new email system currently code named "Project Phoenix." This represents AOL's attempt at reinventing AOL Mail which, among other things, will bring a unified inbox into its new bag of tricks.
"Email remains one of the most vital communication tools despite all of the new sites and apps available to consumers today," said Brad Garlinghouse, President of AOL's Consumer Applications Group. "There is still so much innovation to be done in the space and Project Phoenix is just the tip of the iceberg. We see a huge opportunity to disrupt email in a big way. AOL is the company that brought everyone online, and now we're making it simpler and more enjoyable to be there."
AOL claims its email business drives 45 percent of the company's page views, so as you can imagine they're taking Project Phoenix very seriously. Completely redesigned and built from the ground-up, the new mail system includes a bunch of feature additions, including a Quick Bar (send emails, IMs, or text messages and update Facebook and Twitter), email aggregation (send and receive messages from nearly any provider, including Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail), a Smart View system that displays things like photo attachments and maps as thumbnail pics in the right-hand sidebar, and more.
Project Phoenix is currently by invite only, which you can sign up for here. Video preview below.
If you aren’t a huge Gmail user, feel free to skip the next few paragraphs or so. That’s a not-so-subtle warning about this week's Chrome Extension of the Week, as it’s a super-useful add-on that allows you to climb deeper into the depths of your ever-expanding Gmail Inbox. Go figure, it’s called, “Graph Your Inbox.”
Unfortunately, the extension only works for Gmail and Gmail alone—sorry, other email services. But if you’re one of the proud users of good ol’ Google mail, you’ll be able to use this extension to see exactly how many different kinds of emails you’re receiving over days, months, and years. Think of it as… a kind of Excel chart for your inbox.
Yahoo plans to revamp its Yahoo Mail service, in part to improve the speed of the service in overseas markets where connections are typically slower than here in the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports.
It's part of a project codenamed "Minty," and in addition to a faster underlying architecture, Yahoo will also be giving its email service a bit of a facelift, one that will make the service better resemble the simple design of the downloadable email app.
"We continue to innovate our product experiences, and specific to Yahoo Mail, we have been previewing our next version of email that provides higher performance, sleeker design, and great integration" with social-networking services, a Yahoo spokesman said.
The makeover comes at a time when Yahoo Mail still ranks as the No. 1 Web-based email service in the U.S. with 97 million unique visitors in August. Not only is that more than Gmail, but it's more than Gmail and Hotmail combined. At the same time, that number is down from about 107 million visitors Yahoo Mail recorded in August, 2009.