Thursday, April 06, 2006

[AoyW] Yahoo Will Whack Your Email

A few years back, I set up a Yahoo email account. I hardly ever used it, accumulating at most a few hundred kilobytes of data, including incoming attachments. I logged in pretty infrequently. The last time I logged in I received this notice (click for full size):

The key elements:
- You have not logged in during the past four months
- All email has been deleted and cannot be recovered
- Subscribe ($19.99/year) to prevent another four-month whack

"This email will self-destruct in four months." Cool feature. Now, how do you feel about Yahoo as a potential provider of online desktop applications, for which they store the data? For that matter, how do you feel about Google or Microsoft, or anywhere?

If you use online apps that store your data, you don't own your data. That fact has not escaped the mass market, and no volume of hype will hypnotize it to the contrary. The always-on-you web, which puts your data in your pocket, is the only suitable method for web apps that rival the desktop in the mass market.


At Saturday, April 08, 2006 12:54:00 AM, Blogger Sprewell said...

I completely agree with you about data privacy, though I'm not sure the mainstream consumer gets it intuitively the way you claim. A significant group of mainstream consumers will start using these services, followed by a major privacy scandal tamping down further usage. However, the bigger problem for these web services is the web itself. Trying to hack snappy apps onto an accumulation of 15 year-old protocols is a loser's game. It's hard enough to build nice UIs and quick response times on the desktop (why does my desktop email client pause when I switch folders?) before you face the problems of web development. Some rich client model will replace the web one of these days and until it does those looking to develop web services should stick to services that fit naturally on the web, like posting pictures or sharing messages and links.

At Monday, April 10, 2006 9:48:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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