It was announced on March the 27th, so it’s a good five days away from April Fools. However, it does sound like a prank: “Yahoo! announces that it’s offering free unlimited e-mail storage starting May this year”. When I first found out, it seemed rather far-fetched, and it still does.
Basically, this means that Yahoo! is giving up one method of income, from users who payed 20$ per year for 2GB of space (and it’s losing those money from users starting May, as they will be refunded, if they want to), and it engages in the race to buy a LOT of storage space.
Irrealistic as it seems, this comes at a turning point in Yahoo!’s mail service. 10 years ago, Yahoo! Mail was being launched, a service which was capable of holding up to 4MB of mail, more than an average attachment today.
On the other hand, this might seem like a method of distracting people from GMail’s gimmick of the ever-expanding mailbox. Whether or not it will work, only time will tell. My guess is it won’t, mainly because people don’t look for storage space when they analyze possible e-mail accounts. Not unless they plan on using that space specifically to store stuff, rather than storing them on their on computer. While this might seem like a godsend for those kinds of people, it’s not. Yahoo!’s service states that abusive accounts will be suspended, however leaving their owners with the possibility of accessing their accounts and their stored data.
Instead of a conclusion, let’s look at what John Kremer, the Vice-President of Yahoo! Mail, said in his announcement:
We hope we’re setting a precedent for the future. Someday, can you imagine a hard drive that you can never fill? Never having to empty your photo card on your camera to get space back? Enough storage to fit the world’s music, and then some, on your iPod? Sounds like a future without limits.
Very optimistic words, but is it really possible? My guess is it’s not. Because Yahoo!’s Mail is not unlimited, it just means they will have to acquire an enormous ammount of extra storage space to fit the e-mails of approximately 250 million people worldwide. This is something that you can not do, with today’s technology, with your iPod.
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