AOL Project Phoenix E-Mail Service Unveiled

AOL has unveiled 'Project Phoenix', an overhauled version of its e-mail service promising to bring the struggling internet company back on the map.

Project Phoenix is a part of an AOL drive to regain its position as a leading web content and service provider. The company has focused on turning its financial situation around by making a number of strategic acquisitions and expanding its online content offerings.

A newly revamped e-mail client is set to be instrumental in not only attracting a new user base but providing improved services to AOL's existing 30 million '@aol.com' users.

The update brings a smoother, Gmail-like interface to the service, with well segment features and a few important tweaks. The top of the page contains a 'quick bar' which can be used to send short e-mails, text messages and instant messages.

Another notable addition is the 'smart view' bar, which is designed to give previews of files attached in an e-mail message or provide a map detailing the location mentioned in the e-mail. AOL representatives have said that users will be able to see previews of e-mail sent by confirmed contacts.

The timing of the launch sees Project Phoenix released when Facebook is expected to launch its very own '@facebook.com' e-mail service in direct competition to Google's Gmail, which enjoys a user base of 193 million users.

Powered with a new e-mail service, will AOL ever be able to strike back at Microsoft, Yahoo and Google? What do you think?