On Wednesday, Microsoft announced that it is has increased the webmail box storage size to 5GB for free users and 10GB for premium users. But still, it is behind Yahoo! Mail. Yahoo! mail and Rediff mail still leads with both providing unlimited mail storage space. Presently Gmail, the webmail service provided by Google, lags in the race with less than 3 GB space, though it was the first webmail service to provide a GB sized mailbox for free. It was the entry of Google into the Webmail service that revolutionized the free webmail services. Before the entry of Gmail, Hotmail was providing just 2MB space while Yahoo! Mail provided 6MB. Gmail still continues to add great features to its webmail service. Gmail has integrated Chat, Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheet support and so on.

Microsoft has also promised to improve the performance of Hotmail by identifying and fixing the slowest parts. The slow reponse was the primary reason I moved from Hotmail to Yahoo! Mail and finally to Gmail. Of the three main webmail providers, I like the look and feel of Hotmail the most. It is really cool. The new Yahoo! Mail is more or less like my email client. I like the new interface very much. Unfortunately, it doesn’t load in my browser (Opera). Also, the time taken for it to load is also large. Had they provided some ActiveX components, that made the loading fast, then I would have considered going back to Yahoo! Mail. Gmail is my favorite webmail provider. There are many reasons for that. First and foremost, its integrated chat feature. Recently, Yahoo! also started providing a similar service. The second reason for me loving Gmail is the ability to send emails from multiple email addresses from a single email address. I have configured my different Google Apps accounts and Gmails accounts to forward received mails to my primary Gmail account. When replying to a received mail, google automatically sends the mail from the original email address. This is a great help to me, as I have to manage a number of email addresses. Another feature I like in Gmail is its filter system. It helps me to organize my mails better. The filter system along with labels is much more powerful than the folders provided by Hotmail and Yahoo! Mail. BTW, I forgot to mention the best feature of Gmail. Its ability to group together messages of a conversation and notification of updates to conversation while we are composing a message.

Don’t you think it will be cool, if you can chat with your Google Talk, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger contacts with a single email address? Now you can do that if you have a Gmail account. Gmail has built in support for GTalk. For using your Gmail ID with MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger, signup for a Windows Live ID with your Gmail address. Now login to your MSN Messenger and GTalk. You can’t have GTalk to MSN / Yahoo chatting. But now your contacts doesn’t have to remember your different messenger IDs.

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