So amongst all of the news of the week, AOL Mail has announced that they are introducing a new, revamped service called, appropriately enough, Pheonix. I’ll take that as AOL admitting that their email service had pretty much burnt up and gone away. However, this new service looks to be setting up AOL to once again become a big player in the industry. If we take a look into the service offering, we can instantly see some pretty compelling features. Let’s take a look.
First off, we have a quick bar that allows the user to compose an email, SMS sent for free, IM to any contact or a status update from Twitter or Facebook. One of the more business aggressive features is that Phoenix enables the user to import all of their contact from Yahoo mail, Gmail and other services directly into the user’s AOL account. This means that within minutes, a user can import all of their contacts from every service, sync up to their favorite social networking sites, and send out a SMS, Status Update, Email and IM to all of their contacts announcing their new email address.
Another neat feature is that the new AOL mail gives what they call “smart views” of whatever content is in your messages. This includes any attached images, maps to a location or links to other attachments.
The final feature worth mentioning is that users will have a choice of the domain on which their email is registered. User will be able to choose from Games.com, Aol.com, Wow.com, or Love.com. Interesting choices perhaps, but choices none-the-less. So what will this mean for Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and Hotmail? No one is sure and as AOL rolls out their new service, we will have to keep our finger on the pulse and see what changes are taking effect. But of all the unknowns in the email world, we can know one thing is for sure: between this announcement by AOL and the announcement by Facebook this week about new Facebook Messaging, email is certainly not dead.