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TMCNet:  Yahoo announces Mail redesign focused on speed, mobile

[December 11, 2012]

Yahoo announces Mail redesign focused on speed, mobile

Dec 11, 2012 (San Jose Mercury News - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- Yahoo Mail users will see a redesigned interface for the service across all platforms within the next few days, CEO Marissa Mayer announced in a blog post Tuesday.

In one of the first major changes to a Yahoo Inc. service since Mayer arrived to lead the company in June, the company's Web-based email is being redesigned to reduce clutter, enhance navigation speed and offer a consistent look and feel, the CEO said.

"We've redesigned the new version of Yahoo Mail with speed in mind _ getting through your emails is faster than ever before. We've also made your inbox more intuitive and easier to navigate, allowing you to focus on what matters most: your messages," Mayer wrote.

Mayer has pushed the importance of Yahoo's mobile offerings, so ensuring that mobile access to email offers a similar experience to desktop usage was an important part of the redesign, she said.

"Because mobile is everything these days, Yahoo Mail now has a consistent look and feel across devices," she wrote Tuesday.

Mayer has also been working to build the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's mobile team through acquisitions, using a cash hoard collected from the sale of part of Yahoo's stake in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. Yahoo purchased Stamped, a New York startup co-founded by Google veteran Robby Stein, to form the backbone of the company's mobile product development, then picked up San Francisco-based OnTheAir last week to add to the team.

Mayer said in her first earnings conference call with reporters, in October, that her major focus would be on mobile technology, calling "a focused, coherent mobile strategy" her top priority in leading the company.

Yahoo's Web mail service competes with Google's Gmail and Microsoft's Outlook.com at the top of the Web-mail heap. ComScore reported in October 2011 that the trio served more than 1 billion email users, and that onetime leader Yahoo was had about 310 million users. At the time of that report, Gmail had about 260 million users, but it has grown significantly since _ in a June blog post, Google said Gmail had 425 million users, which would put Yahoo in third place among the trio.

A new look for Yahoo is important in the competition with Google and Microsoft, as Gmail's look and feel _ developed when Mayer was still an executive at the Mountain View, Calif., search giant _ has been widely praised, and Microsoft completely revamped its Web mail service this year, even changing the name from Hotmail to Outlook.

Wall Street seems to be happy with the priorities Mayer has stressed so far, with the company's stock price hitting levels unseen since 2008. Since Mayer was appointed CEO on June 16, Yahoo's stock has gained more than 24 percent.

___ (c)2012 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) Visit the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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