Microsoft and Google don’t have to panic yet about Amazon’s new Workmail product. I spent just a few minutes playing with the preview, and it is evident that it is nowhere close to ready for primetime.
A few interesting tidbits. Right now there is no POP3 or imap support. Instead Amazon is using Microsoft’s Exchange Active Sync. This does mean that users can easily use many of the same desktop and mobile applications to access their data which lowers the barrier to entry for many customers. I just find it odd that a company will go after another company’s customers by licensing one of their products. Where Workmail really falls short today is on the web. The interface looks like Outlook Web Access from fifteen years ago. It even has a RSS Feeds folder.
One interesting feature on the web is the use of tabs. You can have multiple messages, contacts, etc open at the same time. It has the feel of Mozilla Thunderbird or Yahoo Mail in that way. This is clearly just an early preview, so I will continue to check in to see where Amazon is going.