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March 28, 2007

Yahoo Mail, with Unlimited Storage

Yahoo Blog announces that Yahoo Mail will have unlimited storage. They'll be rolling this out over a few months, starting from May.

The official explanation is that the cost of storage dropped and users send more attachments. "We have been closely monitoring average usage. We are comfortable that our users are far under 1 gig(abyte), on average. What we see are an increasing number of rich media files as consumers send more photos."

They even offer a history of Yahoo Mail, in terms of storage, but here's the real timeline:

1997
October 8: Yahoo acquires Rocketmail and transforms it into Yahoo Mail. Storage size: 3 MB, that will soon become 4 MB.

2004
April 1: Gmail launches with 1 GB of free storage (invitation-only)
June 15: Yahoo Mail upgrades to 100 MB. Yahoo buys OddPost next month to make the first important UI transformation.

2005
April 1: Gmail doubles the storage: 2 GB. They also launch the Infinity+1 storage plan: each day the storage increases with a small quota (that dropped from 3.456 MB at that time to 0.33 MB now).
Late April: Yahoo Mail has 1 GB.

Of course that very few people have gigabyte-sized mailboxes and this is more like a marketing gimmick, but Yahoo's announcement marks the first time since Gmail launch when Yahoo Mail makes the first move and is about to become better than the competition. We'll have to wait and see if Sergey Brin changes his mind and amends the plan that Google "will start selling additional storage capacity to e-mail users with extraordinary needs".

Meanwhile, Gmail had serious performance problems at least three times this month, mostly for Google Apps users. "All three incidents this month have affected an undetermined subset of Google Apps users, including those on the Premier version of the suite, who pay a fee that grants them a service-level commitment from Google of 99.99 percent uptime."

{ Thank you, Nimish. }

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