The Philippines in my opinion is indeed the texting capital of the world for it to be included in the list of the first 4 countries where this service will be rolled out. According to an article from USA Today, within the next few weeks, Yahoo Mail users from these countries will be able to send SMS messages to cellphones from right inside Yahoo Mail. There are other services (e.g. Chikka, Callwave, etc) that allow one to send SMS from their computer. But this means having to open yet another window in your computer. This is another productivity booster in the making.
Here is the full article.
Yahoo Mail thinks there's more to life than just sending e-mail.
On Monday, Yahoo (YHOO) expands the Web mail service into a "social communication" tool — adding the ability to send text messages to cellphones directly from e-mail.
It has also tweaked the interface to make it easier for people to go back and forth between e-mail, instant messaging and text messaging.
"We're responding to our customers," says John Kremer, vice president/Yahoo Mail. "They don't want to bounce around to many different areas."
Yahoo dominates the domestic Web mail market, with 83 million U.S. users in July, according to researcher ComScore Media Metrix. (Worldwide, it's in a tight race with MSN Hotmail.)
The Yahoo Mail update also adds more sophisticated capabilities to check maps, directions, hotel and travel information directly from the e-mail itself.
Say someone writes an e-mail suggesting a trip to San Francisco and dinner at a specific restaurant. Put your mouse over the address, and a pop-up window emerges with tabs for maps, calendar and travel information.
That kind of information also is found elsewhere on the Yahoo network, "but this way, users don't have to leave mail to perform the tasks," says Kremer.
Yahoo says it is the first Web mail service to offer e-mail to text messages for free. It's performed by adding phone number information for the people in your list of contacts. Click on a name, type, and it goes directly to their cellphone. When they respond, the message shows up in your mailbox as an instant message.
Mike McGuire, an analyst for research firm Gartner, says the upgrade keeps Yahoo "on par or just a little bit ahead" of competitors.
"This is a realization that we don't just use e-mail to communicate anymore," he says. "We all now have cellphones and instant messaging, and both can do text messages. This is a valuable feature that enhances the platform."
The changes take the updated Yahoo Mail out of beta, or test, mode.
The text messaging will be rolled out in the next few weeks, and is available in the USA, Canada, India and the Philippines.