Starting on March 23rd Lycos began to roll out a new email client. The new front end is powered by Zimbra, an open source collaboration suite.
The roll-out of the new email client is happening in stages and is still ongoing as of the 25th of March. In addition to changing the email client changes were made to the imap servers. The old imap server address was imap.mail.lycos.com to imap.lycos.com. People accessing mail via imap should update the imap service to continue to receive it in their mail client of choice.
Zimbra’s new client includes a preview pane which is new addition to the mailbox; the overall feel and look of Zimbra’s mail client is not unlike that of an Outlook Web Access client. The default reading pane is positioned below the mailbox list view just like the default preview pane of Outlook 2003. The following screenshots show you a before and after:
Old Lycos email client
New Lycos email client
CSS & design Support in Lycos
The new email client appears to have limited support for CSS. Background images defined through CSS are not supported and will not render as an in-line style, however background colors defined as in-line styles will work. Font manipulation and inheritance is supported via in-line style. The overall result of the new client’s rendering is not unlike Gmail’s with similar support for CSS. Because Gmail does not support style sheets (either in the head or anywhere else in the body) designers should instead rely on in-line styles as the lowest common denominator when designing emails.
The addition of a preview pane is an added boon for marketers as it gives their emails a better chance of being noticed. However, the new email client, preview pane included, has images disabled by default so although the message might get someone’s attention it still takes a recipient’s click in order to enable images and thereby register as an open.