Yahoo Inc. (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said it is upgrading Yahoo Mail, the most popular Web e-mail program, to make it run more efficiently than other Web-based systems and nearly as fast as desktop e-mail.
The new version of Yahoo Mail works in a browser, just as existing versions of the program do, but Yahoo has developed ways to short-circuit the multi-second delays that typically delay any action taken in Web-based e-mail programs, the AP informs.
It replaces the need to repeatedly refresh a browser to open e-mail, move it into folders or take other actions that require the user to wait for the browser to redraw the page.
Instead, it works similarly to desktop computer e-mail clients, with features such as drag-and-drop organization of e-mails into folders and a message preview window that displays selected messages nearly instantaneously.
"The process of going through the inbox is much, much faster," said Ethan Diamond, product manager for Yahoo Mail and a co-founder of Outpost, the company which supplied the underlying technology used in the Yahoo Mail upgrade.
Yahoo acquired Outpost in July 2004.
Analysts said Yahoo appears to have a sizable head start over other major consumer e-mail providers such as Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Hotmail, Time Warner Inc.'s (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) America Online and Google Inc.'s (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Gmail in speeding up the experience of managing Web-based e-mail.