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What do you think about Yahoo Mail Beta?

A very quick report on Yahoo Mail Beta (YMB) and Firefox. I don’t use IE frequently enough to comment on YMB on IE, but with Firefox, I can say that it’s a still too much of a resource hog. I love the new mail interface, but I generally have 10 or 15 tabs open at any given time, and in this environment, YMB is excruciatingly slow.

I define ‘excruciating’ as just slow enough to aggravate to the point of disuse. The problem is not that YMB totally sucks … that might be an easier problem to solve. The problem is that YMB is great, but not quite great enough. In order to win this web 2.0 mail competition, YMB will need to be at least 95% as snappy as a desktop application. As it stands, it’s probably at 92%. That’s the excruciating part … SO CLOSE … yet so far.

Having come so far, I certainly hope that Yahoo doesn’t throw in the towel on this project, but as it presently stands, I’ve switched back to klunky, but responsive web 1.0 Yahoo Mail.

I should add that this is on a baseline 1 GHz CPU and 1 GB RAM, which seems like a reasonable conservative “bottom of the barrel” system by today’s standards; especially with respect to the considerable number of 500 MHz boxes I still see every day out in the real world.

Written on June 7, 2006