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Storage Out of Thin Air

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Storage Out of Thin Air

It was bound to happen. Not long after Google started its one-Gigger Gmail service, other free email providers followed suit and raised their storage quotas by some unimaginable multiples. Just take a look at these three popular providers:

Yahoo – from 6 MB to 100 MB

iWon – from 6 MB to 125 MB

Hotmail – from 2 MB to 250 MB

I’m sure most users don’t even care how or why this has happened. They’re just happy to be given the extra storage. And it’s a good move for the providers to keep their user bases loyal. I was itching to migrate from Hotmail to Gmail. Now I am reconsidering the move. As one of the Hotmail guys pointed out, they have taken the storage issue off the table.

Of course I am not the one that would just take the good news and rejoice. My cynical personality is always in search of some sinister motive.

How could the stingy Hotmail that was offering a measly 2 free MB for years suddenly offer 125 times that amount? Did the storage gods suddenly blessed them with a hard disk monsoon? And how all these providers could offer such colossal capacities simultaneously?

So where did all this excess storage come from? I suspect some of it was there to begin with, but in an effort to convert freeloaders to paying customers, these companies were just holding back on us. Until Google figured out a better way to monetize the service while giving the users the freedom to breathe.

And the rest is just a statistical game. Odds are Hotmail and other providers do not have enough storage to accommodate all their users at maximum capacity. What they probably count on is that most users will not utilize all of their allotted capacity and trim their message folders often. Even a messy person like me wouldn’t want to have an entire Gigabyte worth of emails strewn about his email folders.

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