New Yahoo Mail Beta Opens to Users Worldwide

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Users in the United States and 18 other markets including New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, India and Spain can now choose the latest beta interface of Yahoo Mail from Yahoo Inc., Sunnyvale, CA.

The feature, which was previously only available to a limited number of users starting last year, is reportedly faster and has drag and drop capability, integrated calendar timeline, message preview, simultaneous open messages with tab navigation and e-mail search function.

"The goal was to really update Yahoo Mail and provide a better user experience, while keeping it accessible to our very broad group of users worldwide," said Yahoo spokesperson Karen Mahon.

Users can join Yahoo to receive the new mail service.

The integrated calendar timeline lets users organize their schedules from within their Web mail, without clicking on a separate view or opening another browser. It also features a map of a meeting or event location within the calendar timeline.

The latest version marks the most significant enhancement to the Yahoo Mail interface and user experience since its launch in 1997. It remains ad-supported and free to the consumer.

"We've seen increased engagement with users of the Yahoo Mail beta, which means people who use the beta are spending more time with Yahoo Mail," Ms. Mahon said.

The e-mail programs protection from spam and viruses uses a spam column located next to each message in the inbox to instantly mark a message as spam

Yahoo Mail Beta also features an integrated RSS reader, which lets users elect to receive breaking news, blogs and other feeds directly in the Web mail interface

Yahoo also introduced a localized French-language version in Canada, as well as an English-language version in Asia. Earlier this year, the beta was introduced in the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Canada and Korea. The application runs in Firefox and Internet Explorer.

"We've given significant attention to product design and usability incorporating feedback from our testing with users," Ms. Mahon said. "As a result, the beta is still a web mail service with very mainstream appeal."

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