Google to offer free email in fight for web supremacy

Google to offer free email in fight for web supremacy - 2nd April 2004
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

Online search engine leader Google Inc plans a free email service providing 250-500 times more storage space than market leaders Yahoo! Inc and Microsoft Corp, delivering the latest challenge in a fierce fight for web supremacy.

But there's a catch to the new service announced today - Google's computers will scan emails to deliver targeted advertising.

Google's service, called Gmail, will offer one gigabyte of storage space, roughly 500,000 pages of email.

Gmail users will be able to receive up to 10 megabytes in a single email - more than the free services of Yahoo and Microsoft's Hotmail allow to be stored in an entire mailbox.

Gmail also will enable its users to type a keyword into a built-in search box to find information contained in their emailboxes within seconds.

"We think email is one of those things that is not as useful and as well organised as it should be," Google co-founder Larry Page said today.

"People have been asking us to do this for a long time."

Officials at Yahoo and Microsoft's Hotmail division declined to comment on Google's announcement.

Yahoo and Microsoft recently announced plans to challenge Google's dominance in internet searches. Google's technology is behind nearly four out of every five web searches, and the privately held company has recently unveiled a series of improvements to protect its turf.

Google hopes to turn a profit from Gmail by programming its computers to dissect the topics being discussed in the emails and delivering text-based ads related to the subjects. For instance, an email discussing an upcoming concert might include a link from a ticketing agency.

"I don't think [the ads] will be annoying at all," Page said. "We think this will give us a business model that will work and allow us to provide a high-quality service."






Microsoft Corporation


When will spam be banned?

Paying for email

ACCC Joins Global Fight Against Spam

Internet Safety and Responsibilities


Steve Outing, Senior Editor, E-Media Tidbits, Poynter Institute

Greg Tingle - Director, Media Man Australia - 25th February 2004

Bob Bemer - "The Father of the Internet"