Gmail was launched with 1GB storage space. This was a big leap forward because other online email services at that time (April of 2004) were providing a fraction of this – 2-4MB to 10MB (one hundredth of a GB) at the most.
It took Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail, the two most popular web based email services, a bit of time to match that offer. In fact, I was surprised that an Indian portal (Rediff) increased the account storage to 1GB on Rediffmail almost immediately. A host of other services realised that hard disk space is cheap and only a handful of users would ever use that much of space. So they to joined the 1GB wagon.
Yahoo! Mail upped the storage to 100MB from 4MB and then to 250MB. The 1GB Yahoo! Mail account space was available only after a year. The storage space from Microsoft’s online email service, Hotmail, was only 2MB when Gmail was brought out. It soon jumped to 25MB and then to 250MB.
In May 2007, Yahoo!, as a part of their anniversary offer, announced that all Yahoo! Mail users would be getting unlimited space. The wise amongst us know that “unlimited space” does not exist but it was a smart move by Yahoo! The point is, instead of specifying the amount of space, Yahoo! simply made it unlimited – isn’t it easier (and more impressive) to tell everyone that we offer limitless storage instead of 10GB, 20GB or whatever?
Unlimited space is complete nonsense – there is no such thing! If you tally the storage on all the hard disks in the world, you would still reach quantifiable figure. Yahoo!, however, knows that majority of the account holders would only use a fraction of a couple of GBs. Even the most prolific of Yahoo! Mail users would never be able to have hundreds of GB of storage space.
In fact, a lot many Indian portals have jumped on the unlimited bandwagon – Zapak.com, rediffmail.com, indiatimes.com – read more about this on a comparison of unlimited email accounts from Indian portals.
Does Google offer unlimited space on Gmail? Quick answer – NO!
Google has instead opted to increase the Gmail account storage everyday day by a little amount as per their Infinity + plan. From the 4th of January 2008, each Gmail account holder gets an additional 3.3MB of storage. However, this metric will probably vary because Google has clearly mentioned that it all depends on the available space. At the time of writing, I had a little more 7GB on Gmail.
If you load the Gmail homepage , you can see the storage space meter ticking away to kingdom come – refer image below.
Will Google ever offer unlimited storage on Gmail? Again, the answer is probably no but, hey, I don’t make the rules around there. So, knowing Google and their do-no-evil policy, I suppose unlimited Gmail space would not be on offer as “unlimited” is misleading.
If you are running short of available space on Gmail, you can always get more by shelling out a small amount. Google’s Premier Edition gets you 25GB of space per account on Gmail and 10GB plus 500MB per user on Google Sites storage. Read more for a quick comparison of the premier and standard editions.
Most of us think Gmail account space is for storing emails and their attached files. However, nifty applications are available on the web that will turn your Gmail account into an additional hard disk – an online account for storing files. To know about these, read store files on Gmail.
The Internet started off as ARPANET, the internal network of the Advanced Research Projects Agency. ARPA was established in the U.S. in response to launch of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union. [more...]