Aol practically introduced us to email back in the 1990s, but it’s since lost out to Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google, which boast hundreds of millions more users. Now, it’s aiming to get itself back into the email game with the launch of Project Phoenix, which aims to “redefine what email is for the consumer,” an exec tells Fortune. “Since Gmail, really, nobody has done anything that made you think, 'Oh, that's interesting.'"
Speed is a big focus, as is integration with other email accounts, instant messaging, social networking sites, and more. There are three different inbox views, tabs similar to those found on Web browsers, a Mapquest sidebar that will automatically offer directions when emails contain addresses, a photo sidebar that will aggregate photo attachments, and somewhat unimpressive domain names including @wow and @love.com. Aol will have yet more competition: Click here to read about Facebook’s rumored email client.