UPDATED

We got word this morning that the Laszlo Systems folks have opened their web mail service to the public. Anyone can sign up for an account and play with the snazzy interface. It’s not clear to us if this is intended to be an actual consumer-facing product, or if it’s just a public demo of the company’s technology. The email accounts only offer 10 megs of storage, for instance, so we expect it’s the latter. We’ve asked for clarification on that.

For those not familiar with Laszlo, the company is playing squarely in the middle of the burgeoning “rich Internet application” space, building web-based communications tools that have that desktop application look and feel (what everyone is calling Ajax these days). Earthlink already uses its email technology, and the company is building a suite of “digital life” applications.

UPDATE: A Laszlo spokeswoman characterizes the service as a “living laboratory.” In other words, Laszlo is using it to solicit user feedback and to try to drive interest among Internet service providers, its main market. They’re not getting into the hosted mail business. By the way, the obligatory Laszlo Mail developer blog is here.