Yahoo has announced the launch of an “all-new Yahoo! Mail” that has quite the list of new features including chat capabilities right inside Yahoo Mail, and the option to send and/or receive text messages. Many of you have been trying out some of the new features since the public beta launched back in September of 2006. The beta is now over, and I think those who haven’t experienced the beta version will be impressed with all of the changes.

I logged into my Yahoo Mail account this morning to find this message:

Yahoo mail

Those of you who were part of the Beta have been using this feature since February when it was introduced. Just to re-cap what you’re able to do, right from the Yahoo Mail screen, you can set your chat status and control how you appear to your contacts.  You can also see which contacts are online and start chatting with them. Probably the nicest feature is that your conversations will be tabbed so that you can easily switch between conversations and your inbox.

Send SMS Messages

The other big feature is that right from Yahoo Mail, you can send a text message to a mobile number – for free!This feature is available for U.S. numbers, along with numbers in India, Canada, and the Philippines.

So with the big new version launched, what’s missing? For me, it’s the conversation view (like what Gmail offers) and the lack of POP access for free. I think Yahoo has opportunities to provide a better spam solution, and perhaps even work on improving speeds. They mentioned that there has been an increase in speed, but for me, it’s hit or miss. Sometimes it’s speedy, other times it’s a bit on the slow side. Either way, the new Yahoo Mail has dropped the beta and is available to the masses. If you decide you don’t like the new version, you’ll still be able to go back to the “classic,” more simple version.