Had enough of the clunky, buggy, bland webmail of old? There is hope yet. According to USG president Mike Yaroshefsky, OIT has a whole new site in the works — they’ve got a functional version up and they’re currently gathering feedback, says an anonymous tipster. The Ink took this new version for a little test drive, and I might actually be a webmail convert.
A godsend: the Reply function is now conveniently contained within the same window, so your screen isn’t constantly cluttered by pop-out windows. And although I don’t feel qualified to comment on any real technical improvements, there’s much to be said for aesthetics. Everything is a lot more readable, for one. Gone are the sterile whites and grays and blues, replaced by … markedly friendlier whites and grays and blues. (This theme is actually titled “Blue Steel.”) The spacing’s better; the font’s bigger. The trash bin is cuter. The buttons are nice and rounded in an endearingly pressable way.
Take a look for yourself after the jump:
This definitely looks promising, but it’s not necessarily what you’ll be using next year. Because there’s a twist! In a follow-up USG email, Yaroshefsky mentioned the possibility of a Microsoft or Google mail service. Apparently the president’s been discussing those options with OIT since February 2009, and it’s still up in the air.
Either way, humble old webmail seems to be moving on to bigger and better things. Although I must say I will miss the faceless clay people in v-neck sweaters.