Yahoo Mail’s redesign is a fresh coat of paint on a burnt-down house

Yahoo Mail’s redesign is a fresh coat of paint on a burnt-down house

Following its acquisition by Verizon, Yahoo today rolled out the stellar rebuild of its Mail offering to 225 million active monthly users. The update brings a fresh design that pushes Yahoo into the 21st century and arguably makes it the best-looking email client on the web. It also adds a premium, ad-free offering in Yahoo Mail Pro for those willing to fork over $3.49 a month, or $34.99 for the year.

But the question remains: can a new coat of paint attract new users (or win back old ones) lost under the Mayer-era? During Mayer’s reign as CEO, security took a backseat and led to two massive security breaches affecting more than a billion users.

The first announced breach happened in 2014 and affected over 500 million Yahoo users. A second — which happened a year prior — over a billion. The security team reportedly battled Yahoo’s top brass for months over the cost and customer inconvenience of proposed security measures designed to prevent attacks just like this.

Worse, after discovering the breach, Yahoo waited two years to inform affected users — users that were quite likely to have used these passwords elsewhere on the web.

Email is where each of us conduct business, interact with friends and family, and share intensely private information. The redesign is a good start, but I’m not sure a fresh coat of paint on a decrepit house is going to sway public opinion.

And that’s really unfortunate. No one wants a competitor for market-leader Google more than this guy.

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