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Yahoo! Mail Is Offering Unlimited Storage

March 30, 2007 by  

One of the major ‘selling points’ that Google uses to market GMail is its huge storage capacity. With 2.8GB of storage, there’s no need for the users to delete their emails to make space for new ones.

While Google’s GMail is busy adding 0.000001 MB each second to their 2.8GB mail storage capacity, Yahoo! Mail is beating them to the punch by offering a whopping unlimited email storage this May 2007.

Yahoo! Mail is breaking new ground with this move and I expect many competitors will follow suit to stay competitive.

It was interesting to see how fast things are changing. Yahoo! Mail total storage capacity was a mere 200GB for all their users when the service was first introduced in 1997. My own computer today has over half a terabyte of storage capacity – (250GB + 300GB).

If this trend continues, will my hard disk capacity for my PC double that of what Yahoo! Mail has today in ten years time? I am doubtful it will because mathematically infinity multiply by 2 equals infinity :)

2∞ = ∞

Anyway, I’ve been using Yahoo since it was first introduced in 1997 and I am still using it for my primary personal email to get in touch with old friends from school/university days and new friends too. With the introduction of unlimited storage, Yahoo! Mail just gives another reason for me to stick with them.

So what will prevent people from using Yahoo! Mail as their unlimited personal online backup service?

Simple – the allowable attachment size. Currently Yahoo! Mail allows email attachments of up to 10 MB only. While this file size limit is enough for most email users’ needs, it’s still limiting if you want to share or keep huge files. I don’t think this limitation will change anytime soon.

You can use Lycos Mail if you like as it allows unlimited email attachment size but you are limited to the 3GB storage capacity – still a little larger than GMail.

In reality, offering an unlimited storage capacity is not practical if not impossible. What if everyone starts filling up their accounts with tons and tons of emails, will Yahoo! be able to keep up with the ever increasing storage demand?

The good news for Yahoo! is that, this is quite unlikely to happen. Majority of the users will only use a small fraction of the storage capacity allocated to them. This leaves a lot of unused storage space.

Granted there will be several users who will use gigabytes of space but this demand is offset by the unused space left by the majority of users.

There’s a term used in the web hosting industry called overselling. Overselling assumes that the majority of your clients are only going to use a fraction of the resources allocated to them so there’s going to be a lot of wasted bandwidth and space.

Overselling involves taking a chance and selling more than you can actually handle assuming that the unused resources will cover it.

I think offering an unlimited storage is just a marketing gimmick for Yahoo! albeit a good one at that.

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8 Comments »

Comment by Azmeen
2007-03-30 14:45:41

Personally, I agree that this is just a marketing gimmick.

Assuming your personal emailing activity is just as robust as a typical work-related email, you’d probably consume around 2GB per annum; this of course assumes that you don’t delete a single email.

I’m sticking with Gmail not because of the storage size. I love the interface and I think the “Labels” concept is way better than the traditional “Folders” approach.

Plus it seems that Y! is setting certain restrictions on what sort of file you can store in your so-called “unlimited” storage.

What I’d like to see is what sort of API will they be showing to developers to play around with their “unlimited” mailboxes.

“To infinity and beyond!” – Buzz Lightyear

 
Comment by Terzam
2007-03-30 17:27:20

In reality, nobody goes through 2GB per annum on their email accounts. You just can’t compare your work email with your personal one! The difference is the file attachments you get from work… ppts, doc and excels.

The fact is the cost of storage is DROPPING FAST! Marketing gimmicks such as these will not necessarily attract a lot of new users… (how many email accounts do I have now, 3-4!?)

The next step is to find a more intelligent way of storing my mail, music, movies etc!

Comment by Gaman
2007-03-30 18:02:00

I do believe offering unlimited space could attract new users. That’s what has been happening in the web hosting industry and people still fall for it.

 
 
Comment by bengodomon Subscribed to comments via email
2007-03-31 16:04:52

Gmail can easily counteract that: they could also announce to offer the same thing, with more features, like ability to create folders.

 
Comment by iklan baris
2007-04-01 04:38:59

Hi Sabahan, Is it true or just April Mop?
What unlimited means? ..
If google can give me unlimited , .. i can use my gmail drive to get unlimited harddisk :) cool.
BTW does any ne know if we have some kind of gmail drive in yahoo mail ?

thanks

 
Comment by Gaman
2007-04-01 16:26:04

It’s true :)

 
Comment by KwangErn Liew
2007-04-04 06:58:23

Email is only a small part on the services that each Google and Yahoo! provide.

Space is cheap now. It’s only naturally to go this way to give the “wow” effect, albeit a very small one for non-average users.

Also, non-average users don’t usually migrate from one account to another without a good reason.

 
Comment by Aniela
2007-04-05 22:03:32

I think yahoo should work more on their spam filters. With gmail, I barely get any spam. My yahoo inbox gets over 250 spam messages/day. I guess now I can take advantage of the unlimited storage they offer :)

 
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