According to a story on CNet, Yahoo is preparing to open up more amenable and memorable addresses for users of its free, web-based emails. A consumer story only? Not really: internal use of free email services are the dirty secret of the CIO.

Why so many of us use Yahoo, Microsoft, Google or other freebie mail programs when on the road is no great mystery. Enterprise-orientated services such as Lotus Domino/Notes, and to a lesser extent Microsoft Exchange/Outlook, have become unwieldy beasts that tie us into collaboration systems and workflows that we don’t need. They accrue policies that demand users know the vagaries, or at least follow the business policies, of deep security procedures.

By contrast, consumer email services are sleek, fast, safe and offer high availability levels and ubiquitous access. Little wonder that so many people are using a freemail address to send business mail, especially when it’s a back-to-the-office message where corporate branding is largely irrelevant.