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Yahoo Mail integrates IM

With feature, Yahoo Mail users won't have to download or open an instant-messaging client to chat with each other. Image: IM in Yahoo Mail

Beginning Monday, some Yahoo Mail users will be able to chat in real time through their e-mail program. Yahoo said in November that it would embed instant-messaging technology directly into its Yahoo Mail program so that users wouldn't have to open up--or even install--Yahoo Messenger or another IM ,service to chat with each other online.

The rollout is set to be phased over several months. Google added chat to Gmail a year ago, but the experience is not as integrated as the new Yahoo Mail chat functionality, Yahoo has said. AOL's AIM Triton offers integrated e-mail, instant messaging, SMS text messaging, and voice and video chat.