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Hotmail to offer 250MB of free storage

Hotmail to offer 250MB of free storage | CNET News.com

Microsoft fires the next salvo in the webmail storage wars.

First, Google’s Gmail stunned the world when they announced they would offer a free webmail account with 1 GB of storage. Then the invitation-only nature of the closed beta drove Gmail hype to stratospheric levels.

Not willing to lurk in the shadows, Yahoo announced last week that they will bump the storage on their free webmail accounts to 100MB, and give their paying customers 2 GB. Take that, Gmail.

Never to be outdone, we now know what Microsoft’s Hotmail is going to do in response to the battle of the gigabytes between Gmail and Yahoo. 250 MB for free accounts, and 2 GB for pay accounts. In your face, Gmail and Yahoo.

I currently pay $19.99/year for Hotmail Extra Storage, which gives me 10 MB instead of 2 MB. It’s been enough for me not to worry about my mailbox filling up, but I still archive the majority of my mail offline in an Outlook PST file, to keep things under control.

I have also been using Gmail for a few weeks, and I have to say, I love it. Once I can access it via IMAP/POP3 (features they’re supposedly working on) from my Smartphone, I plan to switch to Gmail as my main personal address.

Now that the big three are all on more or less equal footing regarding storage, I predict that the determining factor will become how well they can manage spam. I get so much spam at my Hotmail account I had to turn on their Exclusive email filter, which only lets mail from addresses I’ve approved/whitelisted into my Inbox. But that means that I still have to go digging through my junk mail folder to find items that aren’t already on my whitelist. No spam so far in my Gmail account, but I’m sure that will change.

If you use one of these webmail accounts, will the recent increases in storage offered keep you from jumping ship to Gmail? Or is the goodness of the Google aura, plus their pledge to “not be evil” enough to make you switch?

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