The End of Yahoo Mail Classic

>or How the color Purple is killing an Internet Giant!

I created my first Yahoo email address about 12 years ago. I’m a long time Yahoo Mail user and a huge Yahoo! fanatic. I do have to admit however that Yahoo is no longer the company it used to be. With competitors such as Microsoft, Google and now Facebook, it seems that Yahoo’s best days are far behind it. But for someone who uses Hotmail, Gmail (I also had a usa.net address back then…) Yahoo Mail Classic has remained throughout the years my favorite web-based email.

I will not go over why I find Yahoo mail easier to use and much faster to load than Gmail. Hotmail has always had a spam problem. It’s much better now than in earlier years but I constantly get “spam” from people in my contacts on Hotmail who also happen to have Hotmail addresses. When you consider that my Hotmail address is a secondary address that I only seldom use, the amount of spam I get there is outrageous.

So why don’t I like the new Yahoo! Mail? Because, in my opinion, it fails in two major areas: speed and usability.

old Yahoo mailnew Yahoo mail
Old and new Yahoo! side by side. It’s the Purple’s fault.

Yahoo! promises that the new mail is faster and has an easier-to-use design. The truth is if you have a connection as slow as mine the New Yahoo mail will never be as fast as the Yahoo Mail Classic. It simply takes a little longer for the emails to show up, at least that’s the impression I get. I imagine that for people with a broadband connection speed is not an issue.

As for the design, well, I can think of one word to describe it: annoying. Yahoo decided to remove to leaderboard ad on the top and replace it with a vertical banner on the right side of the page when you’re checking and reading mail. I find it annoying because if my screen is not wide enough or if my resolution is too low, it leaves me with the feeling that the ad is eating up the reading space. Of course Yahoo allows you to collapse the ad but all it takes is for you to load another message and it’s back. And did I mention the fact that each email opens in its own “page” (in addition to the Inbox page) consequently, you need to close each one of them when you’re done. If you are like me and you seldom use the Previous and Next buttons to browse your email, this can be annoying. And have you tried to scroll down to browse you old messages? What a nightmare! Once again, if you have broadband (or only a few messages in your inbox) this may not be an issue for you. As for me, I haven’t deleted an email in ages!

I’m guessing that Yahoo gets paid for the ads it displays per impression and not per click. The reason I say this is because I’m also guessing that this new side ad gets fewer clicks than the top banner ad. Then again, I may be wrong, its not like Yahoo shares its ad data with me.

Users are invited to make the switch now voluntarily until we are all upgraded to the New Yahoo Mail.I still fail to see what the New Yahoo! Mail has that the Yahoo! Mail Classic doesn’t. Then again, I might just be the kind of person who resists change.

The following is the email I received. It was edited for privacy reasons.

Dear MJ,

Thank you for being a Yahoo! Mail user for the past 3 year(s). We look forward to bringing you an even faster, safer, easier-to-use Yahoo! Mail very soon.

In the coming months, we will ask you to upgrade to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail for your account not_my_actual_email@yahoo.com. All Yahoo! Mail customers will be asked to upgrade. But in the meantime, you don’t have to wait, you can have the newest Yahoo! Mail today.

Upgrade Now

What You Can Look Forward To

• Faster email
• Latest Yahoo! Mail spam-protection technology
• Easier-to-use design
• Unlimited email storage so that you can keep everything you want

Learn more about the newest version of Yahoo! Mail.

When you upgrade to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail, everything in your account (messages, folders, contacts, etc.) will be there.

You Can Upgrade Today

You can upgrade now to the newest Yahoo! Mail if your browser is Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, Safari 4, or Chrome 5 or newer.

Upgrade Now
If you do not have one of these browsers, you must first update your browser (it’s fast and free), and then return to this email and click the Upgrade Now button.

If you don’t upgrade now, we recommend that you upgrade soon. Your current version of Yahoo! Mail will be available for the next few months, but eventually you will need to upgrade to the newest version of Yahoo! Mail , or review Yahoo! Mail Help for other options.

Thank you for being a loyal Yahoo! Mail user.

We hope you enjoy the newest version of Yahoo! Mail.

David McDowell
Senior Director, Yahoo! Mail Product Management

Did I mention that my browser of choice is Opera? Will this new Yahoo! Mail work with my Opera 11? I guess I’ll find out on September 19.