Harbinger Alpha Available for Testing

Filed in by Kevin Minnick | May 19, 2006 5:10 am

For any of our current customers that would like to take a test run of the next version of our webmail client, you can do so by logging in at this URL[1] using your email address and password.
We are making the pre-beta available to our current customers in order to get some early feedback from the users who already know webmail the best. We have focused our development efforts on improving the speed of the application. We want to build a web-based email client that can serve as a reliable alternative to desktop clients like Outlook and Thunderbird, and the first step in doing so is creating a client that can match the speed of the desktop experience. It is a huge challenge, but one that we believe we can overcome.
Our development team understands that the #1 feature of our webmail client is speed. Cool features are great, but if they are slow, we know that they will not be used. We will always support desktop email clients through traditional POP and IMAP, but we believe the future lies in the power of storing your data online and having that data accessible from any location. A fast webmail client has many advantages over a desktop client, such as:
1. Your data is available from home, work, the hotel, the airport-anywhere that has an Internet connection.
2. Storing your data online means that it not only has guaranteed availability, but it is also backed up on a continuous basis. At Webmail.us, your data is not only backed up nightly, but it is immediately replicated across multiple machines the moment it is stored on our system. This includes your emails, calendar, tasks, contacts, and RSS feeds.
3. Administrators have a much easier job if they do not need to configure everyone’s desktop application. Desktop clients typically are cumbersome to configure and hard to debug when there are issues. Browsers typically have few configuration issues, if any at all. It doesn’t matter if your users like Apple, Microsoft, or Linux; our webmail client is not limited to a particular operating system or browser.
4. New features don’t require downloads, installations, or configurations.
5. Never “synch” your data again. Synching your email, contacts, and calendar between various clients can be very time consuming. With an email client that is web based, you will never have these issues.
Of course, all of these advantages are worth nothing if the user experience is slow (like most other webmail software installations-hosted or not). A web-based client should improve productivity, not hamper it.
So if you’re a customer, especially if you use webmail, please try the alpha version of webmail and PLEASE report any issues using the “Report Bug” link provided in the top right of the interface. We still have a lot of work to do (including many more speed improvements and the integration of Search) before we release this to all of our customers. We appreciate your feedback.

Endnotes:
  1. URL: http://beta.webmail.us

Source URL: http://www.rackspace.com/blog/harbinger-alpha-available-for-testing/