Webmail (or web-based email) is any email client implemented as a web
application running on a web server. Examples of webmail software are
1.1 Early implementations 1.2 Widespread deployment
2 Rendering and compatibility 3 Privacy concerns 4 See also 5 References 6 External links
The first Web Mail implementation was developed at CERN in 1993 by
Phillip Hallam-Baker as a test of the HTTP protocol stack. This led
to the discovery that the specification of the POST method was faulty,
requiring the introduction of the Content-Length header. The CERN-PTG
daemon was released later that year but was not developed further.
In the early days of the web, in 1994 and 1995, several people were
working on enabling email to be accessed via a web browser. In Europe,
there were three implementations, Søren Vejrum's "WWW Mail", Luca
Manunza's "WebMail", and Remy Wetzels' "WebMail", whereas in
the United States, Matt Mankins wrote "Webex". Three of these early
applications were perl scripts that included the full source code
available for download. Remy Wetzels' version was a CGI program
written in C on Unix.
In 1994, Bill Fitler, while at Lotus cc:Mail in Mountain View,
California, began working on an implementation of web-based email as a
CGI program written in C on Windows NT, and demonstrated it publicly
Lotusphere on January 24, 1995.
Søren Vejrum's "WWW Mail" was written when he was studying and
working at the
Copenhagen Business School
many Internet service providers (such as EarthLink) and web hosting
providers (such as Verio) began bundling webmail into their service
offerings (often in parallel with POP/SMTP services);
many other enterprises (such as universities and large corporations)
also started offering webmail as a way for their user communities to
access their email (either locally managed or outsourced);
webmail service providers (such as
In some cases, webmail application software is developed in-house by
the organizations running and managing the application, and in some
cases it is obtained from software companies that develop and sell
such applications, usually as part of an integrated mail server
package (an early example being Netscape Messaging Server).
The market for webmail application software has continued into the
Rendering and compatibility
Email users may find the use of both a webmail client and a desktop
client using the
POP3 protocol presents some difficulties. For
example, email messages that are downloaded by the desktop client and
are removed from the server will no longer be available on the webmail
client. The user is limited to previewing messages using the web
client before they are downloaded by the desktop email client.
However, one may choose to leave the emails on the server, in which
case this problem does not occur. The use of both a webmail client and
a desktop client using the
IMAP4 protocol allows the contents of the
mailbox to be consistently displayed in both the webmail and desktop
clients and any action the user performs on messages in one interface
will be reflected when email is accessed via the other interface.
There are significant differences in rendering capabilities for many
popular webmail services such as Gmail,
Comparison of email clients Comparison of mail servers Comparison of webmail providers Email hosting service L- or letter mail, email letter and letter email
^ Brownlow, Mark "Email and webmail statistics", Email Marketing
Reports, January 2009
MAPI Extension for
Webmail accounts - joonis.de".
^ Affixa (Creating messages directly from Windows applications via
^ "Google Groups".
^ "www-mail page frame-placeholder for www_mail.htm".
^ Pinna, Alberto, "Soru: un incontro con Rubbia, così nacque il web
in Sardegna", Corriere della Sera, December 28, 1999 (in Italian).
^ Ferrucci, Luca, "The ICT in Sardinia: Start up and evolution"
^ Internet Archive, "DSE Webmail"
^ a b comp.mail.misc, Webex Announcement, August 8, 1995.
Lotusphere 95 Presentation, "cc:Mail Mobile's Next Generation",
January 24, 1995.
^ InfoWorld, "Lotus cc:Mail to get better server, mobile access",
February 6, 1995, p. 8.
^ InformationWeek, "Surfing the net for e-mail", October 16, 1995.
^ Business Wire, "Recourse Technologies appoints Vice President of
Engineering", November 3, 2000.
^ comp.internet.net-happenings, "ANNOUNCE: WWW Mail Client 1.00",
February 28, 1995.
^ comp.internet.net-happenings, WebMail – Source code release, March
^ Digitale Stad Eindhoven "Digitale Stad Eindhoven"
^ De Digitale Stad on De Digitale Stad (in Dutch)
^ Miami.edu, CV, Dr. Burton Rosenberg
^ Network World, "Lotus readies cc:Mail-Web hooks", (part 2),
September 4, 1995, pp. 1, 55.
^ PR Newswire, "Lotus announces cc:Mail for the World Wide Web",
September 26, 1995.
^ InfoWorld, "cc:Mail users will get E-mail through Web", October 2,
1995, p. 12.
^ Network World, "More from Lotus: X.500 and the Web", October 2,
1995, p. 10.
^ "EMUmail website".
^ "Sabeer Bhatiya : The founder of "Hotmail.com"". 4to40.com.
Archived from the original on 2007-02-10. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
^ Oracle, Cnet Archive - Release Notes: Netscape Messaging Server 4.15
^ "Netscape Messaging Server Corporate Edition ( v. 4.15 ) - media and
documentation set Overview".
External links Media related to Webmail at Wikimedia Commons