We had a chat with Yahoo’s Brad Garlinghouse, VP of communications products, at the end of the Web 2.0 conference, and he gave us some insight into where Yahoo Mail might be headed in the coming months.
Garlinghouse kept product details under wraps, but he highlighted concepts that he found intriguing. Those include possibly dumping the one-size-fits-all interface and letting users pick an interface that works best for them, and bringing non-e-mail info — such as RSS feeds and weather — into the e-mail interface. Garlinghouse also likes the idea of what he called the SIM card in the sky, a centralized place where you can store all your e-mail messages, contacts, phone numbers and other data so that it is always available to you.
We asked Garlinghouse if Yahoo would ever support IMAP, which allows users to synchronize their mail messages across many different e-mail clients. He didn’t answer directly, but he said that Yahoo is all about improving the user experience, and IMAP provides a good user experience.
Yahoo bought a small San Francisco e-mail company called Oddpost this summer. Oddpost’s stand-out feature is that it’s a web-based e-mail service that feels a lot like a desktop client. Garlinghouse wouldn’t say when those features would be rolled into Yahoo Mail, but he said the mail team is making steady progress in that area.