Yahoo revamps Yahoo Mail: Table stakes improvements amid Gmail gains

Summary:Yahoo said its mail is now faster with easier navigation. Those improvements are necessary, but could also be construed as table stakes.


Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer unveiled a cleaner and more simple design for Yahoo Mail in a move to highlight the company is developing its key products. The larger question is whether Yahoo's mail overhaul can keep Gmail from becoming No. 1 in the U.S.

Mayer noted:

You’ve told us loud and clear that you want fewer distractions when it comes to email. You want to quickly login, communicate, and get on with your day. And we’ve listened. Starting today, the new Yahoo! Mail is fast, easy and available anywhere you go. These improvements will be available on all major platforms: Web, Windows 8, iPhone/iPod touch and Android.

OK. But this is a commodity market where Google's Gmail continually improves. Microsoft's rebrand is strong. And yes, people still have AOL Mail accounts. In other words, the Webmail game is really about keeping customers not necessarily landing new ones.

Simply put, Yahoo has to show growth as Gmail is the only service posting strong gains. Here's a look at the latest U.S. data from comScore on the top Webmail services: 


For Yahoo, it needs to keep its mail customers in the fold if only to hit them with those continual skyscraper ads. Ad-laden email clients are about as close to personal delivery as you can get.

Yahoo said its mail is now faster with easier navigation. There's also a consistent experience across mobile and desktop. Those improvements are necessary, but could also be construed as table stakes.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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