Winners and losers in the battle of the webmail!

24 June 2004, 4:24 pm ISTFiled under: Technology

In response to the Google's GMail offering of the 1GB account, major email providers like Yahoo, Rediff and now Hotmail has followed suit.

Yahoo was the first to counter-offer 100MB for free account, and 2GB for paid one. Then we had Rediff offering 1GB for free email. And now we have Microsoft's Hotmail offering 250 MB for free account and 2GB for paid one. Microsoft will offer these from first week of july.

This makes storage space a non-issue. Then what is going to be the issue ?

Search, usability and features

With all this space at your disposal, you would want a searching and indexing service to go through all this mail. Plus you would also need a more usable interface to work your way through all that email. Google has already excellent search feature with GMail. However other features need improvements. Yahoo! and Hotmail will have to improve their search and interface to allow users to get maximum benefit from the use of increase space.

So, who will win ?

We, the users or customers will win. All this increased mail space means more emails and large attachments. And ofcourse, less of mail boucing because of the mailbox filling very fast. That would happen less frequently.

Who else ?

Harddisk manufacturers like Segate, Samsung, Maxtor and the likes will also benefit from this battle, because for them, this is what this war is about ? Storage space!

Music and Video Piracy ?

Large attachments also mean that you will be able to send your music (mp3) and video (mpg and divx) files to your friends without any problem. Imaging sending and receiving your favourites mp3s to your friends. (Well this has been happening through the P2P networks like Kazaa, etc. And is now possible through your email.

This would make RIAA look to webmail service providers too and filter their attachments for any audio and video files. But I think it would take while before RIAA moves toward in this direction.

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Amit Arora is web developer with expertise in developing eCommerce enabled websites for the businesses.

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