Making news yesterday, Lycos Europe introduced a paid 1GB email service which beat the slow paced Google GMail launch. However, GMail’s functionality may make it stand out to users and web emailers more so than its added storage size. Besides, other established mail servers have already or are starting to offer 1GB mail accounts. Here’s a comparison of search related email account offerings from Pras at Cinematic Rain
-upgraded their free accounts to 100MB
-1GB mail coming soon
-1GB available for about $6 a month
-still in beta testing
-no news of when it will officially be launched to the public
-1GB email accounts
-350MB combined storage
The “All-You-Can-Eat Buffet” Effect
Finally the mailbox providers are realizing its not about how much storage people are really going to use, but instead of actually offering a whole lot of space. Its like a buffet, you offer tons of food and unlimited servings. But out of the potential diners, only a few will gorge themselves till they’re racing to the restroom.
All that aside, one must ask, where is Hotmail nowadays? Are they happy to be stuck with 2-4MB storage? What does MSN have up their sleeve, if anything?
Steve Bass of PCWorld seems to think that if Yahoo and Hotmail don’t change their ways, their advertising cluttered email pages will send mass pilgrimages over to Google GMail and other similar offerings. Steve says “When I think about two of the best-known e-mail services, MSN Hotmail and Yahoo Mail (my least favorites), I visualize their ad-laden, cluttered screens.”
Similarly, Sushubh Mittal of Search Engine Journal and TechWhack agrees, stating that “GMail knocks Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail hard. Speed is extra ordinary. It simply is too fast that you fear if it’s indeed a secure service.” Mittal adds his opinion on GMail’s controversial email content targeted Google Adwords advertising “I did not see many ads. In fact most pages did not have any. One big mail with some good content showed the adsense ads which are creating furors in the market. They are not intrusive, irritating. They just are present at one side. It’s not something that’s in your face. And that is something wonderful. Compare that to Yahoo’s big flash ads and Microsoft’s heavy pages.”
Just when things were starting to heat up in the big search engine version of King of the Hill, Google came out with their 1GB GMail, stirring the pot and starting a new battle trying to get registered mail users to their search friendly email systems. It should be interesting to see how MSN, Yahoo and others fully respond.