Hotmail Enters the Storage Wars

Hotmail is the latest contender to offer large amounts of storage to its subscribers – up to 2 gigabytes if you pay a US$19.95 (€16.46) subscription. Users of the free Hotmail service will get 250mb, as a response to GMail’s 1 gig, advertising-funded, service.

By GMail’s standards, 250mb seems almost mean, but then Hotmail aren’t going after the “never delete anything” crowd. The new 2 gig incarnation of Hotmail will be called Hotmail Plus, and will allow users to send attachments of up to 20mb – and will have no graphical adverts on the web frontend.

As a bonus, all 170 million subscribers will get email anti-virus checking and MSN Calendar. It’s about time that the anti-virus product was integrated as that’ll cut down on much of the infected spam that is flooding mailboxes worldwide. A frightening release from BT yesterday stated “46% of all email traffic in Europe will be spam in 2004 and by 2008 this will rise to 71%.”

Interestingly, a Neilsen report in May had the number of Hotmail subscribers down at around 34 million.

Hotmail Plus

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?