I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people that has different e-mail addresses for different things. It makes weeding out garbage very easy, and also there are certain things that must have a certain e-mail provider to work.

I have had a Yahoo mail account for about four years, due to the fact that Yahoo was where the local Freecycle system was based. I was having the mail moved by a GMX account, but the times when mail was transferred was inconvenient, and later on, the system simply stopped working, with no notice as to why.

That was about a year and a half ago, and after going back to the Yahoo web interface, I found that the system had gone from snail’s-pace slow to fairly usable. Also, the way the access worked was much nicer, allowing the large monitor I use to have more than 25 lines of mail headers by default, with no intervention from me. I like things that work correctly without intervention!

I still only use the Yahoo mail account in a limited way, but is something I no longer dread, and actually see ways that Hotmail (my main way of interacting with e-mail when not using a POP3 mailer) could emulate with positive results.

Now there is news that Yahoo is once again revamping the mail system, ostensibly to work in a better fashion with the iPad, so apparently Yahoo is certain of something I only suspect at this time – the iPad will become a huge deal…much bigger than it is now.

[DownloadSquad]

It’s easy to forget about Yahoo! Mail. Despite having millions of users, it doesn’t receive quite the same level of attention as Gmail or Hotmail.

However, Yahoo’s somewhat-recently released version, which is tailored for the iPad, is pretty darn snazzy — and it appears as though that type of look is headed to Yahoo! mailboxes everywhere in the near future.

Cnet is reporting that a "Minty" (the project’s codename) upgrade is coming and will include not only a cleaner, sexier interface but also greatly improved performance. Yahoo! hopes the changes will help stem the tide of users that are migrating to other services; they have lost 7% of their total base since this time last year. In that same period, Gmail grew 22%, and Hotmail grew a modest 3%.

Yahoo! has already lost the number one spot in India to Gmail. Does anyone want to bet on whether or not they can hold on to the top spot elsewhere around the globe?

There are a few things that I take from this. One is that many people really don’t think of Yahoo much anymore, either as a portal, a search engine, or a mail provider. Another is that more people might be more excited if not for the unholy alliance between Yahoo and Microsoft, which according to many is only a thinly veiled shell mechanism. Still another is that many may be like me, and remember how dead dog slow Yahoo Mail used to be, and have not had proof of the newly gained speed and capability.

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We just disappointed 10 billion people. Not counting the ex-wives.

Dr. Quinn Burchenal

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