Webmail services have seen little innovation since Google’s Gmail arrived in 2004, but Microsoft took a fresh look with, launched in the summer, and now AOL has unveiled

Note that Microsoft and AOL are wisely choosing not to force Hotmail and AOL Mail users to switch to the new services – email users tend to be very set in their ways and Altomail looks a radically different interface in some of its views. Read more

Microsoft has unveiled new features for Hotmail, making it easier for users to reduce the clutter of what it describes as “graymail” in Inboxes. While the features add to major improvements introduced last year, Microsoft executives admitted problems remain of making users aware of them and getting users of other services to consider changing to a webmail service that has dropped to number three in popularity in the US. Read more

From the new Facebook Messages to AOL Mail, rising phoenix-like from the flames of email irrelevance, this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section looks at the future of webmail.
Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Messages and Project Phoenix are all considered, along with some of the best email aids to avoid unmanageable inboxes.  Read more

For more than a year, Yahoo has been talking about two things that will help it stop losing users’ time to rivals including Google and Microsoft: making Yahoo core services work better and partnering with clear winners in adjacent web offerings such as Facebook and Twitter.

The biggest overhaul of Yahoo Mail in five years does both of those things. Out tonight in a beta version that will only be seen by users who request it, the new Yahoo mail is, as previously reported, twice as fast as the old one and integrates with social networking, photos and videos in an intuitive and unobtrusive way. Read more

Microsoft has revamped its Hotmail browser-based email service in time for Office 2010 and the official introduction of online versions of Office applications.

The company may be trailing Google with its integration of Google Docs and Gmail, but consumers should be familiar enough with Office programs to want to give the new integrated service a try. Read more

More than 10,000 user names and passwords for Hotmail and other Microsoft services were anonymously posted over the weekend at a free site for programmers, it was reported Monday, prompting security experts to recommend that users change their passwords.

Microsoft said it was investigating the posting to a coding site called, which hinted at a much bigger password collection: according to tech news site, the account names all started with A or B. Read more

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Gmail InboxGoogle’s Gmail development team appears to have been in overdrive over the past few months with a host of new features and  an improved application for mobile phones

For me, Gmail has become the start page and hub for all my web activity thanks to the excellent integration it offers with other services and email accounts. Read more