The future for webmail with flash

Enter flash-based email

In a previous article, The virtual road warrior software checklist, I wrote about using web-based email to ensure that you stay connected whilst you are on the road. However the reality is that most forms of web-based email represent a compromise on the kind of email service you enjoy at home or at work.

The problem is web-based email is just that - it is a web-based application and all this implies in style of interface and speed.

Furthermore this is compunded by the fact that web-mail cannot rely on all sorts of useful add-ons and plug-ins being installed on a given users desktop.

Requirements such as having to continually refresh your browser to see if you have any new messages can be frustrating especially if you are trying to quickly check-up on your email on the move.

But all that might all be changing...with flash-based email.

TechWeb News reports in EarthLink Takes On AOL, Gmail With Flash-Based Web Mail, that EarthLink will roll out a beta of a new, members-only, Flash-based Web e-mail within four weeks in a bid to upstage rivals such as America Online and even Google.

By generating a Flash-based application, EarthLink hopes to avoid the basic problem most users have with Web mail due to the fact that most PCs have already got Flash installed.

"We've taken a completely different approach than, say, AOL and Google," said John Foltz, the product manager for EarthLink's e-mail. "It doesn't behave like a Web page at all."

"Among the features possible with something like Flash, he went on, are keyboard shortcuts identical to those used in desktop mail clients such as Outlook -- the Delete key erases messages, a Shift-Click manoeuvre selects multiple messages -- a single page interface, and in-the-background mail transmission".

For a review of EarthLink's e-mail by PC Magazine click here

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