AOL has unveiled Project Phoenix, their new email messaging service.
It was rumoured that Facebook would today announce details about their Titan project so that they could introduce a complete webmail service. AOL has decided to take advantage of the buzz surrounding this Gmail-killer to communicate details about their Project Phoenix, the next version of AOL Mail which is about to enter a limited beta test phase.
For Brad Garlinghouse, president of AOL’s Consumer Applications group, "Email remains one of the most vital communication tools despite all of the new sites and apps available to consumers today. There is still so much innovation to be done in the space and Project Phoenix is just the beginning. We see a huge opportunity to disrupt email in a big way. AOL is the company that brought everyone online, and now we’re making it simpler and more enjoyable to be there.”
Among the main functions provided by Project Phoenix presented in the video below, a Quick Bar will be located at the top of the webmail so that user’s can quickly sent emails, instant messages, or text to update a Facebook or Twitter status.
In the right hand column, the intelligent Smart View displays a preview of the content contained within attachments, locations displayed on a map, and conversation chains. Such information will be displayed even before the message is opened with this to be done via tabs. A dedicated field allows you to search through all of the folders and associated email accounts with it possible to refine the applied options with a simple click.
For this Project Phoenix, AOL talks about a unified inbox so that all messages can be sent and received easily from almost all email providers including Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail. In addition to @aol.com accounts, AOL also offers free domains like love.com, wow.com and games.com.
Project Phoenix by AOL Mail from Team AOL on Vimeo.
Free access to a premium service has also been announced providing unlimited storage space, the choice of a POP or IMAP email service and support for file attachments of up to 25 MB. The final release is planned for early 2011.
According to comScore, in September 2010 AOL Mail had 31 million users around the world. The leading three companies are Windows Live Hotmail (362 million), Yahoo! Mail (273 million) - who are also undergoing a transition and Gmail (193 million).