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The new compose pops up in a window, just like chats (only larger).
This makes it easy to reference any other emails without ever having to close your draft. You can even do a search or keep an eye on new mail as it comes in. And because the compose window works the same way as chats, you can write multiple messages at once and minimize a message to finish it later.
Gmail Compose Improved [gmailblog.blogspot.co.uk]