Yahoo Buys E-Mail Startup

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-07-12 Print this article Print

Updated: Facing competition from Google's Gmail, the Internet company adds Oddpost to the battle plan.

Yahoo Inc. has acquired a Web-based e-mail startup company as it moves closer to rolling out further changes to its popular e-mail service. In a message to subscribers posted late Friday, Oddpost Inc. said it had been bought by Yahoo and that its development team was focusing it energy on building new additions to Yahoo Mail. " will continue to operate with no interruption in service," the San Francisco company announced. "However, from this day forward, well be working on a new, advanced Yahoo Mail product."
Oddposts $30-a-year e-mail service focuses on an e-mail interface with functionality that is similar to that of desktop applications such as Microsoft Outlook, such as the ability to drop and drag messages. It also has a built-in news reader for aggregating Weblogs and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds.
A Yahoo spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the purchase but declined to disclose its terms. Yahoo praised Oddposts technology and said that Oddposts employees would be integrated into Yahoo. "The acquisition of Oddpost provides Yahoo with outstanding technological expertise, which will be brought to bear on products across the Yahoo network, such as Yahoo Mail," said spokeswoman Mary Osako in a statement. " Oddpost represents the best and brightest in engineering talent, and we are excited to welcome them to the Yahoo family." Competition among Web-based e-mail providers has intensified since Google Inc. entered into the market in April. Google unveiled an invite-only public beta of its Gmail service. Gmail provides 1 gigabyte of free storage and an interface that organizes e-mails through search and category tags rather than folders. To read more about Googles Gmail, click here. Gmail set off an e-mail storage race, but Yahoos latest acquisition could signal a new fight over the functions and features in Web-based e-mail. Yahoo last month