Hotmail Storage Gets a Boost

On Monday, Microsoft increased the storage limit for free accounts of Windows Live Hotmail to five gigabytes. Those paying for MSN Premium or Hotmail Plus will now have ten gigabytes of storage.

Hotmail has come a long way since the days when I struggled to keep my emails below its meager two-megabyte limit. Although I left Hotmail for Gmail in early 2005, I still have my Hotmail account and use it for Passport access and for those few people who continue to email me at that address (despite being told about my new address).

The storage battle among free web-based email systems has really heated up. Yahoo! announced earlier this year that it would begin offering unlimited storage for all its users. AOL Mail countered that it has had unlimited storage since 2005 (although the service only became free a year ago).

Gmail, my favorite and (I believe) the best email service, is trailing with only 2.8 GB per user. Last week, Google announced a shared storage plan for all its services, but it is fairly expensive. One wonders why anyone would want to pay for more storage from Google or Microsoft when Yahoo! and AOL have it for free.

Personally, the storage race is unimportant to me; while I like to have an online backup of my emails, I am more of an offline storage person (Thunderbird being my email client of choice). Although my Gmail account tells me I have up to 2888 MB in which to storage my emails, I am only using 118 MB (4%), so I have no worries about running out of space any time soon.

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