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GlideFree Web mail gets an 'A' for effort, a 'B' for everything else

High on my list of New Year's resolutions for 2008, no joke: e-mail friends more often. Since time is a major constraint, I want my e-mail interface easy to get around, an enabler for quick composition. Write it up, send it out. These are the greatest drawbacks to GlideFree, Glide's beta Web mail release, which has over-enthusiastically swaddled some useful and even clever functionality in unnecessary layers.

For example, GlideFree simplifies the attachment process by bringing attachable multimedia options to you in a drop-down menu, rather than making you embark on the usual hunting and pecking expedition for the files scattered all over your directory. Bravo! Then it ruins the fun by forcing the recipient to open three separate browser tabs just to view an attached video.

And why, for instance, is there no field for simply typing in a destination address? Why must you click into the address book and add even one-time recipients, and then navigate an additional drop-down menu each time you select a repeat contact? In another head-scratcher, there's a short drop-down list of symbols in the beneficial built-in word processor--math symbols. Somehow it was determined that users would favor the 'not equal' sign and Greek 'beta' to accents, tildes, and trademark symbols.… Read more