Google's GMAIL email service has caused competitors like YAHOO MAIL and HOTMAIL to offer more to their users. This is great news for the millions of people that use free email services. More what? More storage space.
GMAIL accounts are free and come with 1GIG of storage space. It's Google's approach to email and it is still in testing and is not widely available yet. In other words, you can't get an account yet unless you already have an active blogger account.
Yahoo mail now comes with 100MB of storage space.
Hotmail has not yet upgraded their services yet. This fall they will be upgrading the storage space to 250MB.
It's frustrating to not receive incoming email because your free email account has run out of storage space. This happened quite frequently with my hotmail account and yahoo mail account - until I paid for additional storage space. When I paid for the Yahoo mail upgrade, I got 100MB of storage space. Then GMAIL came along, and Yahoo responded by increasing the paid upgrade account from 100MB to 2GIG of storage space. SWEEEET!
So what's the big deal about Google's GMAIL?
According to the GMAIL site:
A Google approach to email. Gmail is an experiment in a new kind of webmail, built on the idea that you should never have to delete mail and you should always be able to find the message you want. The key features are:
Search, don't sort.
Use Google search to find the exact message you want, no matter when it was sent or received.
Don't throw anything away.
1000 megabytes of free storage so you'll never need to delete another message.
Keep it all in context.
Each message is grouped with all its replies and displayed as a conversation.
No pop-up ads. No untargeted banners.
You see only relevant text ads and links to related web pages of interest.
I'm not sure what the big deal is about being able to search your email. That feature is nothing new, and both YAHOO and HOTMAIL already offer the ability to search through all of my email. However, the GMAIL search is powered by GOOGLE's search technology..... enough said. It works very well.
The idea about "search, don't sort" doesn't make much sense to me. I sort my email for easy future reference and to empty out my inbox.
The thing that makes GMAIL great is the massive amount of free storage space. No other email service offered so much storage space for free. Another thing that makes GMAIL great is the way the email is grouped together. When you write someone an email and they reply, every email written back and forth originating from the initial email, is grouped together and displayed as a conversation. This makes it easy to make sense of all incoming email, since some people do not include the original message when they reply.
So what's the catch and how does GOOGLE benefit from GMAIL? Advertisements - relevant text ads based on the content of the email you are reading. The text ads appear on the right hand side of the screen, and are only served up if the ads are relevant to the content of the email. If no ad in their inventory is relevant to the content of the email, then you won't be served up a text ad.
There is a lot of concern about privacy issues since GMAIL is serving up ads based on the content of the email. Many feel like GMAIL is Big Brother scanning your email then serving up ads pertaining to the email's contents. If they extrapulate info from the email to serve up ads, what other info will they gleen? Good questions and valid concerns. GOOGLE's answer is here.
Personally, I like GMAIL and I use it as my primary email address. GOOGLE made an excellent move by getting into the web based email space. Millions of people check their web based email accounts multiple times each and every day, resulting in millions of page views. When GOOGLE releases GMAIL to the general public, their reach will expand and their total number of page views will increase tremendously, and they will be able to push out more ads than ever before thus increasing their bottom line profits.
More information by CNN here.