Yahoo! Mail Is Offering Unlimited Storage
Posted on 30th March, 2007
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.