New email features, and plans for the rest of 2005

I mentioned a while back that we had some great products and enhancements in the development pipeline. Our CEO, Pat Matthews, has decided it.s time to let the world in on a few secrets. You can read all the gory details in his blog. Here.s a short overview:
* RSS reader built into webmail will launch next week: subscribe to blogs and other RSS content from inside webmail and updates are delivered to a folder in the webmail interface. Email administrators can decide whether to make this available for their domain and can pre-subscribe users to certain feeds that the company wants seen.
* Webmail Lite Beta has launched this week: ad-free, and user-friendly access to 3rd-party email services plus our RSS Reader integration. We.ll use Lite to do final test features destined for our paying customers.
* finishing our system upgrade over the next several weeks. It has taken longer than we originally anticipated, but completely moved several key pieces of our services and have only a few more to go.
* New version of the Control Panel due out in September. It will sport a new interface with more convenient features and better performance for customers with many domains and mailboxes.
* Calendaring, company-wide address books, and other huge Webmail features are coming in the 4th quarter. Again, check out Pat.s blog for more of the details.exciting stuff!
Even more support
On the Service & Support side of things created a tool that will automatically configure quite a few Windows email client programs.Outlook, Thunderbird, and the like. It has all the default settings for our servers and will set up your email program to use secure POP3 to download messages off our servers.
We find that we get quite a few issues each day that boil down to changing email program settings. This tool only asks for an email address, a name, and one click. I haven.t seen another email hosting company build anything nearly as robust and it.s a great feeling to lead the pack. The source code for the tool has also been released under an open source license. It’s a part of our new website section for open source code we’ve developed and are sharing with the world. finishing the testing of another tool we built (thanks, Doug!) to decipher the often-mysterious email message headers included with every email message. It untangles the message.s winding path through the Internet and draws a simple diagram. Most importantly, it can usually show if and/or where a delay occurred in transmission. I learned all sorts of interesting things about how another email provider processes messages by using this thing. When it.s a little more polished in a month or two, you.ll see a note in this blog about how to access it.
And our support staff now has access to advanced analysis tools that greatly simplify troubleshooting of common issues. As we work to improve these tools, I hope to see them integrated into our customers. control save you time in keeping your users up and running.
In case you couldn.t tell from this huge blog post, been really busy over here! We have accomplished a lot, but know that there.s more to do this year. Please let us know if there are other things you think we ought to be looking at.suggestions are always welcome!

Kirk Averett is the senior director of product for Cloud Office at Rackspace.


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