Yahoo Raises The Email Stakes

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Beginning in May, Yahoo email users will have unlimited storage available to keep all of their messages and attachments in the service.

It’s pretty difficult to trump infinity as an option for storage. Google forced everyone’s hand in email storage when they launched Gmail with a 1GB limit at a time when Yahoo and others offered a few MB to their users.

Storage has become much more of a commodity now than it was ten years ago, when Yahoo bought RocketMail, repurposed it as Yahoo Mail, and launched it online. It arrived with a then-unheard of chunk of 4MB for storage. That’s about the size of a single song purchased on iTunes.

Yahoo Mail vice president John Kremer announced the upgraded storage at the Yodel Anecdotal blog. "We hope we’re setting a precedent for the future," he said, in suggesting a time when hard drives, digital cameras, and music players cease to have storage limits as coniderations.

The company plans a gradual rollout of the unlimited service. Kremer wrote that the transition will take place over a few months to ensure it doesn’t impact anyone’s inbox negatively.

He also cited David Nakayama, who developed RocketMail, on the need for growth in inbox sizes:

I remember getting in a room to plan our RocketMail launch over a decade ago and worrying that our original plan of a 2MB quota wasn’t enough, and that we needed to be radical and DOUBLE the storage to 4MB per account! It’s ironic that I routinely send and receive individual mail attachments bigger than that now.

It looks like the attachment limits will stay in place with Yahoo Mail. Currently they are 10MB for Yahoo Mail, 20MB for those who paid for the Yahoo Mail Plus service.

UPDATE: An AOL spokesperson dropped by our inbox to remind everyone they’ve been offering free, unlimited email storage through AOL Mail since 2005. So now they have competition from Yahoo.

Yahoo Raises The Email Stakes
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