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Hotmail, Others Follow Gmail's Storage Boost 623

Posted by simoniker
from the more-more-more dept.
BobPaul writes "Following behind Yahoo Mail's recent upgrade to 100MB of free storage, and trailing behind GMail's 1GB (last mentioned here), ZDNet reports that Hotmail will soon boost email storage as well. 'The upgrade will increase Hotmail's free e-mail storage limits from 2 megabytes to 250MB and its paid e-mail service, which costs $19.95 a year, from 10MB to 2 gigabytes. The changes will begin in early July.' Another interesting tidbit from the article: 'Ask Jeeves also plans to grant its e-mail subscribers more storage room... According to an e-mail sent to iWon users, Ask Jeeves plans to give each of the sites' e-mail subscribers 125MB of free storage.'"
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Hotmail, Others Follow Gmail's Storage Boost

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  • competition (Score:4, Insightful)

    by some_god (614082) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:41AM (#9516369) Homepage
    hurray for competition :)
    • Re:competition (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mikera (98932) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:46AM (#9516390) Homepage Journal
      Yep - just shows the power of the free market once again!

      Think how little progress we'd see if large segments of the IT industry were dominated by single large corporations with no incentive to innovate..... oh wait.....
      • Re:competition (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:52AM (#9516418)
        Google is a large company. They're worth quite a bit of money.

        MS and Yahoo are offering the e-mail systems that they are now because they know Google is going to steal a lot of their business (The business model is draw in people with free accounts and try to sell more).

        Actually, if you think about it, this is probably going to really hurt MS and Yahoo's business because much fewer people see the need for having more than 100mb of mail, as opposed to needing more than 6mb.

        Google may just be hurting this whole e-mail industry more than it is helping.

        And just to add a little twist to this comment, imagine of MS was doing what Google is doing. People would be screaming bloody murder and citing the reason I cited above. Sort of sad really....
        • Re:competition (Score:3, Interesting)

          by bnet41 (591930) *
          Sadly what you say is pretty true, especially concerning the role reversial. Some people seem to have such a biased view is MS that the never allow them to do anything right. I will agree with everyone else that this is great for the market, 2MB was really low.
        • Re:competition (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tekunokurato (531385) <jackphelps@gmail.com> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @08:46AM (#9517390) Homepage
          Google may just be hurting this whole e-mail industry more than it is helping.

          Um, the original point was regarding the benefit to consumers. It's not hurting anyone, from that perspective. The competition is free and serves to remove excess profits from the industry, not profits altogether (the definition of a market approaching efficiency).
        • Re:competition (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tomhudson (43916) <barbara.hudson@NOSpAM.barbara-hudson.com> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @08:47AM (#9517397) Journal
          Yes, but it all boils down to a question of trust.

          I trust Google. I trust Yahoo. I don't trust Microsoft/hotmail.

          One of the interesting things about how Google has been able to increase the perceived value of their gmail service is that you need an invite (thanks turg [slashdot.org]).

          It also creates a "web of trust". People who have been invited by other people are less likely to use a gmail account to spamminate everyone. This is the true innovation of gmail.

        • Google's GMail Business Plan:

          1.Offer 1GB email storage capacity to a few thousand users in a beta program

          2.Wait for competitor's to match your offer and lose millions by offering 100x more storage capacity as before for free

          3.Cancel beta test and never launch service

          4.PROFIT!!!

    • by swerk (675797) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:20AM (#9516512) Journal
      Fortunately, I've snatched up a beta Gmail account and am finding it to be the bee's knees thus far. I've been fed up with Yahoo for a long time. Had I gone with Hotmail I'd have been even more fed up.

      For several years I've had to trim all kinds of stuff out of my email archives due to the claustrophobic 4- and 6-meg limit on Yahoo mail. Then suddenly I log in and there's 100 meg available. Well that sucks, I've deleted maybe half that in stuff I'd rather have kept over the years. And it's still Yahoo; they still puke up obnoxious ads every chanse they get, and at the end of every single outgoing message.

      On the other hand, since the dot-bomb, most over-the-web services have gotten crippled or disappeared entirely for non-paying users. It's a breath of fresh air to see some things actually improve, regardless Microsoft's and Yahoo's motives for doing so.

      If an all but ad-free environment, a clean interface and the other Google niceties become competitive features that many webmail services mimmick, then great, everybody wins, including those unwilling to switch services. But for my money (or lack of it), I'd rather be signed up with an outfit whose mission statement amounts to "don't be evil" rather than "always be evil except to save face".
  • by JackJudge (679488) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:41AM (#9516371) Journal
    ...they will come But what the feck am I gonna do with 250MB of spam ??
    • by andhravodu (698763) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:47AM (#9516400)
      While it's true that hotmail in its earlier version was a huge spambait, the recent experiences are pretty good. I recently opened a new account (completely new registration) and had one spam mail in 4 months. Now, i'm impressed. Oh wait, we shouldn't have got that one spam mail too...
  • by MrRTFM (740877) * on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:42AM (#9516375) Journal
    Step 1 - on April 1st, give away 1G mail boxes to all - start with a small Beta group
    Step 2 - invest in Hard drives, and wait until MS and others implement size increases
    Step 3 - declare it was a joke all along
    Step 4 - ???
    Step 5 - IPO !!!

    • Re:Go Google Go!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:56AM (#9516428) Homepage Journal
      The 1gb limit is simply a carrot for us all.

      Most normal users won't get anywhere near filling a gMail account for a good long time.

      Its used to show the difference between the good and the bad.

      Now - when google move into ISP land, with 100mbit broadband i'll be happy :)
      • by pebs (654334) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:31AM (#9516561) Homepage
        I'm planning to create 100 1GB accounts, and then back up my hard drive by e-mailing it to all these accounts.
      • Re:Go Google Go!! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrRTFM (740877) *
        Most normal users won't get anywhere near filling a gMail account for a good long time.

        Agreed - and even if everyone in the world filled it up, how much would be genuinely unique content. Not much, I'd guess the size ratio would be something like:
        70% - Funny videos of dancing monkeys or Powerpoint jokes
        25% - MP3 files, zipped software (legal or not)
        5% - genuine emails

        Of the 95% size, Google would keep one copy of the file and link the others (hell - they probably already have a copy in \pub\jokes
        • Re:Go Google Go!! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by LiquidCoooled (634315)
          Absolutely - I've thought about this as well.

          The same could hold true for viruses, trojans and spam inside mails.

          If google decide to zap one virus, then they have zapped it worldwide and cured a problem instantly.

          There are problems with implimenting such a (on the surface) simple solution however. Not anything the massed collection of PHDs and brainiacs at Google couldn't solve though :)
  • by javaman83 (144935) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:42AM (#9516376) Journal
    I have close to 40 gigs of email storage, if I want to fill up my /home partition.
  • Email Arms Race (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    With the amount of spam Hotmail accounts get my guess is that this will simply increase the amount of junk mail Microsoft has to store.

    Has google kicked off an email arms race that will end in tears?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:44AM (#9516380)
    250 MB email? I love competition. Not to mention that's one big storage dump on the net. Now let's see how the RIAA can find me transferring MP3's over e-mail
    • by Ubergrendle (531719) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @08:44AM (#9517369) Journal
      Why MP3 trading is a foregone conclusion:
      1. P2P Applications
      2. Binary Newsgroups
      3. Bittorrent
      4. IRC
      5. FTP
      6. Messenger to messenger.
      6. Now anonymous based e-mail accounts.

      The RIAA is currently trying to sue users of #1. They might go after #3, 4 and 5. They can't stop #2 and #6. They've lost, whether you believe that mp3 trading is copyright infringement or not.
  • Just think, 250Mb of spam to deal with when you come back from holiday.
  • by David Horn (772985) <{gro.remagtekcop} {ta} {divad}> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:44AM (#9516383) Homepage
    Hotmail and Lycos are missing the point here - people aren't flocking to Google cause of the 1GB of space; it's because of the innovative design; the powerful search; the conversation layout; the lack of intrusive ads etc.

    They have to fix the fact that their services are crap before handing out space willy-nilly.
    • by arcite (661011) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:46AM (#9516393)
      Not to mention its less evil! When you use google, only part of your soul is consumed. Better than the alternative I say.
    • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:52AM (#9516419) Homepage Journal
      This I agree with.

      The main problem I have with hotmail is its lack of respect for sent mails, it is up to a user to say they want to save every outgoing message, and even then, they are deleted frequently.

      It just stops it being usable for anything other than signups and notifications.

      gMail has made it easy and fun once again, and I'm glad the others are panicing.
    • by trix_e (202696) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:57AM (#9516684)
      GMail *is* better... much much better. it's quite possibly the best UI I've ever seen in a web browser. if you take a few minutes to figure out the shortcut keys, it's better than just about anything else out there. Yes, you can't format mail just yet, but still it is in beta.

      it's fast, incredibly intuitive. I'm in love.

      the only thing I didn't like was the lack of new mail notification, so I downloaded Pop Goes the GMail (windows only... one downside -- but I doubt its long before something like this comes along for other platforms) and it takes care of that for me.

      In short I'm never going back to any other webmail service. It'll take me a lot to pry me away from GMail.
      • by garcia (6573) *
        In short I'm never going back to any other webmail service. It'll take me a lot to pry me away from GMail.

        It is important to note that GMail is *FULL* of JavaScript and is unusuable w/o it. For me that's completely acceptable as my mobile Internet doesn't support Javascript and no one should anyway.

        If they would switch to something that didn't require JavaScript (and wasn't just so damn sluggish) I would also hop on the bandwagon. Until then I will stick to my standard email setup.
        • Not to mention that Gmail's javascript makes it entirely inaccessable to disabled users. It breaks all screen-readers in use today because none of them can figure out that the javascripted 'buttons' are actually links.
    • by garcia (6573) * on Thursday June 24, 2004 @08:18AM (#9517136) Homepage
      People are flocking to GMail because it is the geek thing to do. Everyone wants one and they will beg you for an invite (I know I just gave out my 6).

      As far as the design of GMail I am not all that impressed. Search functions are nice and all but I don't use searchs that much. The "conversations" aren't exactly what I want as I would prefer standard folders. I certainly don't like not having an option to keep ALL old emails open in a conversation w/o having to click on them to "expand"). The filters are nice and seem to work well for my uses but I haven't played around with them enough to see just how useful they are.

      I haven't received any spam but that's no surprise. I haven't had any issues at work but at home GMail seems sluggish. Almost too sluggish. I don't know why that is but there is a noticable lag after clicking on things at home before actions are taken.

      The space is nice and all (and I am forwarding all mail from home -> GMail for now for permanent storage as a test) but it's certainly not necessary. They are going to eliminate it eventually claiming national security or kiddy porno/warez violations.
  • by King_of_Prussia (741355) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:45AM (#9516387)
    I was under the impression that most of the people who routinely sent or recieved large attachments had a 'proper' paid email service, with more features than your average webmail. Will any of these new developments lure any of these people back into the land of webmail?
  • by jaf (121858) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:45AM (#9516388) Journal
    With this extra demand, will it lead to a faster curve towards even cheaper hard disks with even more space on them?

    Time to invest in Seagate? :-)
  • by ScottGant (642590) <scott_gant@s[ ]l ... T ['bcg' in gap]> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:46AM (#9516391) Homepage
    If Google all of a sudden now says: "Meh, we tried it out with the testing phase, and we've decided not to start a email service at this time".

    Now that Yahoo and Hotmail and everyone else has done the "look, we're offering 1Gig storage too!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:46AM (#9516394)
    There's more to GMail than pure storage capacity. Personally, i wouldn't consider switching back to Hotmail or any other service until they improve the system in some of the ways Google have -- such as the conversation system for tracking replies, and the searchable "All Mail" folder which holds both incoming and outgoing conversations.
    Its funny -- in all the hyperbole about the disk space being offered, people are neglecting some of the real innovations/advancements GMail has managed.
  • by Cyb3rBull3ts (779853) <cyberbullets.shaw@ca> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:47AM (#9516396) Homepage
    Trying to save customers, but honestly, with a sleak, sexy UI of GMail, without those SUPER ANNOYING banners. 2GB of free space, or even unlimited wouldn't be enough to bring me over since those HUGE and OBNOXCIOUS banners are still there.

    They have to Googleize, and learn that small, relavent banners produce more then spaming me with flashy popups that install spyware, and that Mozilla/GoogleToolbar will block.

    But it is a step in the right direction.
  • I have noticed a problem since the upgrade of yahoo. there is a delay in getting email from hotmail. it started right when the upgrade happened for me. But, it is nice to have the extra space.
  • Whats the diffrence? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Viceice (462967) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:49AM (#9516404)
    But what good is all that storage space without a proper way of archiving and accessing it?

    Remember years ago when the max e-mail size wasn't 2mb and you suddenly got mail bombed? You had to go looking through 100's of pages of mail and deleting all the junk. All that work is enough to give anybody carpel tunnel syndrome. Also, Hotmail's recent restriction on opening only one page at a time only makes the matter worse.

    The reason why Gmail can give 1GB of space is because it has developed an excellent system of mail archival, retrieval and display. So unless Hotmail changes its interface and pulls something as good as Google, we are soon going to see frustrated users shifting through many pages of spam.

    • by wfberg (24378) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:51AM (#9516656)
      To be fair, hotmail now has filters (hidden away in options) and lists mail "from my contacts" separately.

      Many people are utterly startled when they find out hotmail has filters.. You can even apply them to old mail, not just new incoming messages.
    • by superyooser (100462) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:59AM (#9516692) Homepage Journal
      You're exactly right. Google's competitors are falling into a trap. All that space is good only if it's organized and easy to search. Hotmail and Yahoo are digging their own graves by incorporating only one piece of Google's business strategy. Google has made clear their philosophy of why they're giving users a whole gigabyte. Google wants to leverage its superior searching ability. The other email providers don't have this! What are they thinking?

      Google has pulled off a perfect rope-a-dope scheme, perhaps unintentionally. At first, GMail appears vulnerable since Microsoft and Yahoo could easily match its 1 GB storage. But that's not GMail's real strength. By its competitors raising their storage limits, they are *emphasizing* their own strategic *weaknesses* (no automatic organization, lousy searching), and Google will pummel them in the webmail market with its arsenal of exclusive advantages.

  • by 91degrees (207121) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:50AM (#9516408) Journal
    To use a remote computer as permanent storage?

    I just don't trust a free service provider to care too much about my data.
    • > To use a remote computer as permanent storage?
      > I just don't trust a free service provider to care too much about my data.

      You are conflating two issues. Of course it's a good idea to have the data stored non-locally. If your office/house burns down, you're going to thank those servers.

      Store your data in multiple locations if you're worried about it. Get 2,3,5,10,50 free accounts and treat them like a RAID server if its data you just can't afford to lose.

      Whether or not a service is free is irrelev
  • Hotmail sucks. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:50AM (#9516409) Homepage Journal
    That's a little surprising, given that in the past they were so pressed for space that they decided to delete every sent message stored on their servers, so pressed for space that they decided to delete all mail after 45 days of not logging in, up from a year as it had been originally.
  • by puke76 (775195) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:50AM (#9516410) Homepage
    It took Google to do this. I mean, what were the chances of the incumbents doing this, if Google hadn't?
    That's what happens when you sit around and be complacent.

    Well done Google! The others are just playing catch-up.
    • by mjh (57755) <mark AT hornclan DOT com> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:48AM (#9516637) Homepage Journal
      Well done Google! The others are just playing catch-up.

      You think so? I don't. I think the others are playing "user retention". They're trying to lower the impact of 1GB of space on their existing user base. Remember the incumbants have some inertia on their side. Most people don't want to have to deal with changing their email address. So if you make the storage disparity less, then it makes the cost of changing your email address more.

      I think this will have the exact intended effect. Users were tempted to put up with the pain of changing their email address to get the huge increase in space. Those same users probably won't switch now, because they've not got 100x more space than they used to have. Space isn't an issue anymore. Changing your email address is.

      IMHO, it's a good move by these guys.

      I think that google's response to this should be to offer free, permanant email forwarding. Essentially, what they'd be saying is this: OK, yes, you have to switch your email address today. But it's the last time you'll ever have to switch your email address... EVER. Do this, and it lowers the long term cost of switching your email address to gmail.

      $.02

  • by WIAKywbfatw (307557) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:51AM (#9516413) Journal
    In less than three months since their announcement of Gmail (April 1st) they have redefined what a free email service should provide, in terms of storage and attachment size if nothing else.

    If Gmail hadn't appeared to shake up the status quo then Yahoo, Hotmail, etc would still be providing storage in the 2MB region rather than two or three orders of magnitude more.
  • by MP3Chuck (652277) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:51AM (#9516414) Homepage Journal
    I bet this is a new and uncomfortable experience for Microsoft, eh?
    • Re:Competition? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BarryNorton (778694)
      Actually they played and won in a competitive world of DOS and C-compilers. Then moved on the word processors. If it's new to anyone it's Google, who want to project forward from killing off Altavista...
    • Re:Competition? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by johannesg (664142) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:50AM (#9516646)
      They have felt it hundreds of times before. Their response was always the same: (cue robotic voice) "Eliminate. Eliminate. Eliminate."

      The fact that you don't seem to realize this confirms they have been wildly succesful doing just that...

  • by cryophan (787735) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @05:59AM (#9516438) Homepage Journal
    I have not seen gmail, but I know that one thing that attracted me to google at the start was that on my dialup connection, google was a FAST download, because of its lack of large graphical ads, etc., compared to the slow and bulky yahoo interface. The reason I avoid hotmail and yahoo mail now is because their interfaces are still ad-ridden and bulky and slow as hell on dialup.

    If the Gmail interface is as fast as the google interface, gmail will eat hotmail and yahoo for lunch.

    • by value_added (719364) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:48AM (#9516641)
      IIRC, yahoo recently advertised an "image free" interface. Never use it myself, but I just checked and there's only a couple of small gifs on the page.
    • it is. the main reason i use gmail is because of its speed.

      i don't have to download spam mail from my isp which can take a while on a 56k connection of you have >150 spam emails. With google not only does it sort the spam nicely and out the way, it stops me having to download the body of the email.
      Couple that with the other great features of gmail and the fact that i won't fill it and i don't have much reason to use my isp's email address.
      The only time i use my isp's email address is for job and univers
  • It's funny... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jb.hl.com (782137) <joe AT joe-baldwin DOT net> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:10AM (#9516468) Homepage Journal
    The main people who won't switch away from Hotmail are the home users who like Hotmail. If you ask them if they want to try something better, after they complain about spam/not being able to send big attachments/spyware, their response will be "NO, I'M HAPPY...shit, this service has so much spyware..."

    And now that Microsoft has disallowed signing up for a Passport with a non-Microsoft email address, tieing these (usually) MSN Messenger using Hotmail to Hotmail, we'll have lots of people locked into it, and they'll bitch, piss and moan at you to help them, then ignore you.

    God, I love users who are deluded as to the utter shitness of their email service. Trust me, I know loads of them.

    (I'll bet there's not one Hotmail account NOT covered in spam by now. They're all just spam buckets. Evil, evil Hotmail...we hates it my precioussssss...)
    • Re:It's funny... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Spad (470073)
      Actually, the reason I usually get given by Hotmail users, when asked why they don't switch to something decent, is that they don't want to have to change their email address.

      It's a fair bit of hassle notifying all your contacts, updating mailing list subscriptions, changing account details at online retailers and soforth.

      Especially as AFIAK Hotmail doesn't allow you to forward your emails to another account - besides, it's just be shut down after a month of "inactivity" anyway, so it's far from a sensibl
  • by weave (48069) * on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:12AM (#9516478) Journal
    Yo Apple, how about boosting the space us .mac PAYING subscribers get? They charge like $350 a year EXTRA for a gig of space. For $100/year you get 15 megs for mail and 100 megs for storage.

    Granted, .mac does a shitload more than these others, but, hey, it's time to boost! :)

    • Dear Customer

      We are storry to inform you that becuase our Xstor RAID isn't scalable enough and its RAID cannot be rebuilt online, we are currently unable to provide any extra space to our faithful customers.

      Please wait until the new and more powerful version of Xstor RAID is released and check back again!

      Sincerely,
      Apple Customer Service
      New Delhi
    • Bleah.... I own no less than 3 Macs over here, and yet I never signed up for a .Mac account!

      I've used it a fair bit, since I used to work for a guy who hosted 4 different web sites from his .Mac acct. - and it was up to me to maintain all of those for him.

      My impression was, it's way too slow. Apple's only attempt to "address" this issue was to try to cache everything locally on your hard drive in OS X Panther, so it *appears* to be more responsive, rather than solving the real problem.

      Not only that, but
  • aventuremail (Score:4, Informative)

    by zam4ever (595826) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:21AM (#9516518)
    How about this aventuremail [aventuremail.com]?. 2GB free storage. cheers
  • by kinema (630983) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:30AM (#9516556)
    I never understood why email providers limited their subscribers to a measly 5 megs. Most email is pure ASCII text. Every time I have felt the need to compress a text file it nearly disappears. This is even the case when I have used gzip on the 'fastest' settings. A gig of email compressed onto today's unbelievably cheap storage costs a provider like Google, Yahoo or Hotmail damn near nothing!
    • by JSBiff (87824) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:45AM (#9516621) Journal

      I mean, you're absolutely right - storage costs next to nothing per-megabyte, and compression can make it go a lot farther. But consider it like this: almost all the free email services have 'free' and 'premium' offers, and the main thing that differentiates the free from the 'premium' is how much storage you get.

      Now, when they give free customers >= 100MBytes of storage, there is less reason to pay for the premium service. So, until GMail came in and broke the cartel's artificial shortage, the email services could count on plenty of people coughing up the cash to get a useable amount of storage.

      At this point, given the above, why are they increasing their storage quotas? . . . Because if all the free & premium customers decided to move over to GMail (or at least a significant percentage of the user-base), then their current revenues would plummet fast. So, while they get a lot less money per 'free' customer (just the revenue they derive from advertising), by increasing the storage, they mostly take away the prime driver for people to go to GMail.

      Predictions: now that GMail is eating away at their ability to sell 'premium' accounts with more storage, I expect that

      1. We will see advertising taken to all new levels of obnoxiousness by the free email providers, to compensate for revenues lost from premium account sales declining.
      2. I suspect some of the features that are currently available with the 'free' accounts (like spam filtering) might be moved over to the 'premium' accounts to attempt to still have differentiation between them so people might still consider using the premium accounts.
  • Next month... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kinema (630983) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @06:34AM (#9516575)
    In the next month or two I fully expect that we are going to see some admititly slow but inexpensive storage solutions. Actually I'm supprised we haven't already seen GmailFS and HotmailFS.
  • My take on it all (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ajs318 (655362) <sd_resp2 AT earthshod DOT co DOT uk> on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:04AM (#9516713)
    So Google and others want to offer a 1GB e-mail service with indexing and searchability. Well, that's fine and dandy as far as ideas go, but you have to remember that this means your mail being stored on someone else's server; possibly for longer than you wanted -- and no way of being sure it's been deleted when you no longer want it.

    I'm thinking about rolling my own searchable e-mail archive. And it won't be limited to one poxy gigabyte, either! I could register a domain and point the MX to my TV cable broadband connection, but the IP address is not guaranteed truly static, so there's a possibility that mail could get lost or even wind up on someone else's box -- so I'll trust my existing PO3 connection for now, counting it as another reason to add to my list in favour of a "proper" (read: business class) broadband connection. Next I'll hack Spamassassin to bits: when I'm done, it will store the header info and spamminess test results in a MySQL database, and the body in a text file. While I'm at it, I'll index the attachments in terms of mime type and encoding into another database. Finally, I'll set up some scripts to manage searching according to my databases and body contents.

    Eventually -- which is to say, once I can go a month without resorting to phpMyAdmin or grep -- I'll release it; probably under a BSD-like licence, but with this extra little clause: "Any redistribution of the software or derived work in binary form must be accompanied by an offer of the source code, to be valid until the lapse of copyright on the work in question".
  • backup solution (Score:3, Insightful)

    by peu (163472) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:12AM (#9516744) Homepage
    Is it just me or these new huge free email accounts serve as a zero cost online backup solution, for example your digital photos?
  • by jbarr (2233) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:15AM (#9516761) Homepage
    While 1GB of storage is nice, it's certainly not the only reason I like Gmail. Features like "Search", "Labels", "Conversations", "Keyboard Shortcuts", and a lightning-fast interface help leverage the 1GB of storage enabling me to easily and quickly find and manage my email information in ways I never could.

    Also, and sometimes more importantly, Gmail's ads are so unobtrusive and relevent that implementations like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail seem like complete jokes with their flashy, intrusive, irrelevent ads.
  • by Octagon Most (522688) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:19AM (#9516780)
    Google turns the tables to imitate its rivals. Changes motto to "Be Evil."
  • by dioscaido (541037) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:20AM (#9516787)
    The US continually bought more and more weapons, which it would never use, so that Russia would follow suit -- until Russia bankrupted itself.

    Gmail only has a couple of thousand users, so it can continue upping it's storage. Hotmail & Yahoo follow suit, but with it's million users, they asplode!
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:26AM (#9516806) Homepage Journal
    ... is to have an interface that makes sense to store and manage that size. With traditional mail client software (when only 300Mb of stored mail), if i have to retrieve something and not remember where it is and some clue on how it will look (with good details) i'm out of luck.

    Google move was to give not only a big enough (?) space for mail, but also a interface to effectively deal with it, and...well, google to search within.

    Is like those pills that have "the vitamin C of 40 lemons" or something similar, you can handle that in that way, will feel like a pill but will have the amount you need, but if a "traditional" vendor gives you to eat 40 lemons to get that amount of vitamin C at the same price, and try to eat all of this you will end with problems. The "content" will be the same, but in a way that will be hard to deal with it.

  • by CinqDemi (320742) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:54AM (#9516960)
    I will venture here (or remind those who think that way already) that the real issue is about "owning" everyone's personal files, **not just email**. So the Gig battles are just the opening salvo. Having your files easily accessible from anywhere without you having to lug your laptop or a hard drive *is* useful.

    I'd like to hear about alternatives and what this means for the IT/ISP players in the next few years. To elucidate on all this:

    It doesnt take a Ph.D to add 1 + 2; and maybe consider a more standards driven approach as in (3)

    (1)Microsoft, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon, etc. all want to have your personal info for targeted advertising. Both Microsoft and Apple are researching a system whereby all the info in your hard drive is easily searchable.

    (2)All indications are that most computing will soon be delivered over the (internet) pipes, with broadband available everywhere. ( SUN's original motto, then IBM's, now everyone's)

    Well, personally, until the dust settles on the privacy issues I wouldnt mind having a GMail account to use as "light" personal/business info internet folder.

    I use my own server VPN connection meantime, so I can already always access all my files from anywhere. But i dont see it being a practical mode for the majority of users - as .. recently said, we dont need to run a power generator in every home to get electricity; simialrly why would we need to maintain a server with all its headaches.

    (3)which goes back to the issue, might it not be better in the meantime for all ISP's to adopt a standard user-friendly personal data repository, possibly mirroring what the user has at home/office ?

    Andre

    PS. Slightly off topic, on a personal note: if I'm on target on this issue, that would make it 3 out of 3. (previous posts indicated that the MAC /Win comparisons didnt fairly compare systems of the same price, and that the Palm-Handspring thing was for Palm to get into cell phone territory FAST - in hindsight, that was confirmed)
  • Gmail speed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sudotcsh (95997) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:58AM (#9516992)
    I'm really not sure where I stand in this fight here. Wait, no ... I know where I stand - I'm a screaming Gmail fan.

    I have a friend who has a paid Yahoo! account and I sent him an invite while he was over at my place. He logged in to Yahoo! to retrieve the invite (which of course had been placed in the Spam folder, but that's neither here nor there). When he finally found it and got signed up he couldn't stop talking about how cool Gmail was, how fast it was, thanks a lot for the invite, etc. etc.

    Then the next day Yahoo! upped their space for paid users to 2 gigs or whatever it was, and all the sudden he was gloating about "I have TWO gigs!".

    Yeah, man. Two gigs of a service you were blasting yesterday for being slow and inferior. Whatever.

    I guess the point is that to some extent these carrots are working, and they're able to make users forget their pain by offering more space.

    I have faith that in time he'll remember how fast his Gmail account is and start moving over there. Our friends and family can be extracted from the dark side - it'll just take some work.


    Oh, what? You don't have a Gmail account yet? Well, I gots four invites left - hit me up at kevinomara bat gmail mot com.

  • by deconvolution (715827) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @07:58AM (#9516998)
    As I remembered, in 1999, when most Chinese email services offered 2M space for free account, Sina, one of the leading .com companies started to provide 50M free space to attactive people applying their account. Then other competitors following up to add their space to 20M, 50M and 100M... and go to our campus and send us free email accounts for all students. Finally, etang.com says they provided unlimited free space to every one and put this to the adverts.

    After couples months, most of them declared a free "large space" emails are "unmaintainable". Sina decreased their account from 50M to 5M, and even a company called 263 canceled their free email service, "As a professional ISP, we dont need click rate from the unrelated public" they explained the reason something like that.

    Till now etang still provides unlimited space [etang.com] email access if you pay about 40 USD a year(Sorry, it is Chinese). But most people never interest it.

    Regarding my previous experiense, a "unlimited" email space is not the key point attacting public to their service. The more important question is : HOW LONG?

  • Look what happens (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adeyadey (678765) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @08:16AM (#9517117) Journal
    Look what happens when you search google for the keyword "gmail" - this site comes up third!

    http://gmail-is-too-creepy.com/

    Good on google for not censoring it, Cant imagine MS would allow that..
    • Re:Look what happens (Score:3, Informative)

      by jpmorgan (517966)
      And if you look at the WHOIS records, you'll see that the site is owned by Daniel Brandt. Brandt is the guy who launched the anti-Google crusade because he was pissed that his site (NameBase) wasn't ranked #1 whenever you searched for anybody.
  • by artemis67 (93453) on Thursday June 24, 2004 @08:50AM (#9517431)
    Mailinator.com [mailinator.com]

    No account sign-up, no password, just type in any user account name you can think of and check the email for it. Works great for the bazillion or so sites out there that have "free registration" but require a valid email address. All emails are deleted after a few hours.

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