An article in the the January 2006 issue of PC World offers a brief look at web mail betas from Yahoo (I use it all of the time, kudos), MSN Live Mail, and Zimbra. The Yahoo and MSN services are invite only betas at the moment.
Yahoo Mail's search shines, reaching into attachments as well as e-mail messages, and showing the document snippet where the search term was found. Yahoo Mail also interacts logically with your browser's back button--often a trouble spot for Ajax apps that continually update one "page" in the browser. In contrast, Gmail disables the back button, while Zimbra warns you that using it will log you out.
Microsoft's Windows Live Mail, which feels more like a tweak to Hotmail than a total rethinking of Web mail...
...Zimbra's real strength is as a full-fledged communication server, allowing a company to integrate its databases so users can, say, jump from a message with an order
number to the order database itself.
The Open Source Version of Zimbra is available as a free download while a Network Edition priced at $28 per mailbox per year
And now to desktop search...
What a difference a year makes. It was just a year ago when we were in the midst of desktop search wars. Well, that was a year ago and this month the topic gets little press. A PC World article by Stephen Manes: Desktop Search: Just What You Need, looks at the power of what desktop search can offer the end user. He says that Yahoo Desktop Search is his favorite but adds that if YDS doesn't work for you to try one of the many other free desktop search tools available.