Walter Mossberg writes:
Yahoo, EarthLink and AOL all have recently introduced versions that lift their functionality well beyond the old model of Web mail. All are using new programming techniques that turn them from simple Web pages into something resembling the fluidity of desktop applications.
For instance, these new email offerings allow you to drag and drop items, and do most things without waiting for a Web page to refresh or a new page to open. That’s a big change from the old system, where any significant action was performed in circuitous ways and required the Web page containing the email program to tediously reload.
This is a major breakthrough, and one that will extend beyond Web mail. More Web sites will be revamped to look and work like regular desktop programs, hastening the day when most applications may reside online.
Ajax technology will be the next upgrade to the Web.