New Yahoo! Mail moves out of beta, adds feature for sending text to mobiles

The new Yahoo! Mail interface, qhich has been in beta since last year, has expanded its features, including an enhancement that lets e-mail users send text messages to mobile phones.

New features

Here's a quote from an article at MarketWatch:

The new version replaces a one-year-old beta program and adds new features, including text messaging, a more comprehensive search engine and an easier to read and edit contacts database, according to the report. It allows users to click on a contact and then select whether to send that person an email, instant message or text message, according to the report.

The e-mail-to-mobile feature will initially be available in the United States, India, Canada, and the Philippines (PC World).

Yahoo! has been facing stiff competition from Google in the Webmail arena. Gmail sports some really nifty features (such as AJAX) and, with the acquisition of AJAX frontrunner Oddpost in 2004, Yahoo! has been seeking to better Gmail. Let's not forget Microsoft's Live mail offering, which also enjoys a substantial subscriber base.

SearchViews quotes that Yahoo! Mail will now sport more features, such as the detection of addresses and contacts in e-mails and options for users to perform additional actions on this data. Also, the mails can be dragged and dropped for simpler organization.

Is it enough to gain new users?

Yahoo! is clearly seeking to build a social networking halo around Yahoo! Mail. With mail service at the core, a number of features built around it to aid users in socializing with their contacts is a cool idea. Google has excelled at the feature.

Will the new features gain traction vis-a-vis Gmail and other mail services that are incorporating the wonders of XMLHttpRequest? What feature do you find the coolest in your favorite Webmail service?