AOL reboots email with Project Phoenix

If you read the title above and instantly felt excited, chances are you still use AOL mail. If so, you'd probably be the first to admit to AOL's lack of competitive features. AOL's latest endeavour into revamping their once-upon-a-time, most popular email service, aims to change all that.

As pointed out by CNet, Project Phoenix, which is currently accessible to a limited beta group, is AOL's attempt to re-establish itself as a desirable webmail provider. In a recent years, AOL's online mail service has fallen from supremacy. Back when the Internet first became available for public consumption, AOL was at the front of it all. Virtually everyone that accessed the Internet used AOL in some form or another.

With AOL's email revamping comes the following nifty little features:

  1. Use other domain names, such as (you've got mail),,, and
  2. A "Quick Bar" which allows you to send short emails, IMs, SMS messages, and status updates
  3. A side bar that shows preview of email content
  4. A tabbed interface (similar to what Yahoo! Mail provides)
  5. The ability to add email boxes from other email providers (future support for Facebook and other non-email inboxes)

To see AOL's Project Phoenix in action, check out the video below. If you want to try and beta test it, visit and click on "please add me to the invite list."

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I'd say that Facebook's new messaging system looks more promising than this.

With a user base already at a half billion comes great power...

Especially if the new service announced is about communications.

If they market it properly (which might require some major $$$) they might be on to something. Consumers who find GMail too complicated could want this instead.

I have to say, while it look a bit cluttered, some of the features are quite useful like the use of the right side panel for additional function. Gmail does this to some extent, but it only posts links to a map and crapload of annoying ads.

If it can combine all email accounts, status updates and everything else I can think of, then it could be useful. If not, then there is little point to it. Something like Digsby or Trillian can do most of this already.

martinDTanderson said,
And this announcement has nothing to do with Facebook's Email Announcement in what, 8 mins time?
Truth be told, it probably does. Smart move by AOL, if I must say so myself. They don't wanna lose anyone to FaceMail, so they need to show their users how committed they are to improving.