Gmail vs Hotmail vs Yahoo Mail: Who's on first?

As part of its Google I/O conference event this week, Google announced that its Gmail web-based email service now has over 425 million monthly active users. If true, this would be a massive leap over the 350 million Gmail users that Google claimed to have secured during a financial conference call in January.

More importantly, these user numbers would also put Gmail ahead of Hotmail, run by Microsoft, making Gmail the most used web-based email service in the world. In July 2011, Microsoft said that Hotmail had 360 million users. The company has yet to offer an update since then.

But are Google's numbers for Gmail correct? VentureBeat.com reports that according to ComScore, Hotmail is still first with 325 million unique visitors. Yahoo's email service comes in second with 298 million users, and Gmail is in third place 289 million users.

However, ComScore admits those numbers are only for PC users at home and business. Users who access those email services from their smartphone and from Internet cafes are not included in their score. Yahoo and Microsoft said they use ComScore to measure their numbers. Google said it does not comment on numbers generated by third parties.

So who is really on top? With the Android operating system in so many smartphones, and with Gmail included in all Android devices, it's more than possible that Gmail has indeed jumped ahead of Hotmail and Yahoo Mail in terms of users. However, it looks like we will have to take Google's word for it for now.

Source: VentureBeat.com

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I've used them all. If you're still using hotmail or yahoo, you have no idea what the internet is used for. Okay, that's a bit harsh-- but the filtering options, tagging and sorting works much better in Gmail (google allows you to create an unlimited number of rules, where others allow a max of 5-10). Gmail also offers Labs. Using labs, I've successfully customized my Gmail to display multiple inboxes simultaneously (by order of importance). What kind of spam or junk you get is directly related to the junk you sign up for an visit. If I signed up for it, or gave a site my email, I don't consider their email's to be junk. It's when your email is completely unsolicited that gets my goat, and Gmail doesn't allow for it either.

gmail with Apple's mail client ... I also have accounts with Lycos, yahoo, aol and hotmail and gmail is the best for me by far

If Yahoo would allow free pop access like everyone else I would still use them, but charging for it is BS.

Switched to Hotmail a while back (actually an @msn.com address but same thing). I get one or two spam messages a day, not too bad. They all have spam, it's unavoidable.

TRC said,
If Yahoo would allow free pop access like everyone else I would still use them, but charging for it is BS.

Switched to Hotmail a while back (actually an @msn.com address but same thing). I get one or two spam messages a day, not too bad. They all have spam, it's unavoidable.

Inorite? Ten years ago companies could get away with this but in 2012 it is hard to believe that Yahoo still charges users for POP access when Gmail gives you IMAP and Hotmail gives you EAS, both superior technologies, for free! (Goog & MS also give free POP access). Gmail and Hotmail will also let you host on your own domain for free, whereas Yahoo doesn't even have that option. But I guess most users don't care about stuff like POP access and domains.

eliokh said,
1- gmail
2- hotmail
3- yahoo

Correct. Hotmail and Yahoo are local US services with some little popularity outside US. It's like Mail.Ru and Yandex for Russia or Baidu for China. While Google Mail is popular in almost half of the world.

coth said,

Correct. Hotmail and Yahoo are local US services with some little popularity outside US. It's like Mail.Ru and Yandex for Russia or Baidu for China. While Google Mail is popular in almost half of the world.

Lol. What world is this? I know many Asian countries love Yahoo!, many Europeans and South Americans like Hotmail (especially for MSN/WLM).

Quikboy said,

Lol. What world is this? I know many Asian countries love Yahoo!, many Europeans and South Americans like Hotmail (especially for MSN/WLM).


Many doesn't mean majority.

people still use web mail? lol. I get all my email from true native apps. gmail is the worse of all. it's clumsy UI. lattency ridden web front end. horrible UX, and annoying ads. why would anybody use crap like that?

I guess most people are stuck in the 90s. move over web mail. native mail clients are so much better and since so many more people access email on phone than ever, web mail is dead.

neonspark said,
people still use web mail? lol. I get all my email from true native apps. gmail is the worse of all. it's clumsy UI. lattency ridden web front end. horrible UX, and annoying ads. why would anybody use crap like that?

I guess most people are stuck in the 90s. move over web mail. native mail clients are so much better and since so many more people access email on phone than ever, web mail is dead.

Do they ever. likely for composing/sending more than reading. Google usually has very little to NO picture-ads, which makes services riddled with them such as yahoo and hotmail difficult to use in countries like Cuba that have a slow satellite connection and insane cell data roaming charges.

Throttle your network back to 4KB/s and increase your ping to 1000ms, then try to login to each service. Google is the quickest, especially if you dumb it down to HTML.

srbeen said,

Do they ever. likely for composing/sending more than reading. Google usually has very little to NO picture-ads, which makes services riddled with them such as yahoo and hotmail difficult to use in countries like Cuba that have a slow satellite connection and insane cell data roaming charges.

Throttle your network back to 4KB/s and increase your ping to 1000ms, then try to login to each service. Google is the quickest, especially if you dumb it down to HTML.

So Google is best in 3rd world countries with slow & expensive internet. Got it

anmoldeepgill said,
Gmail is best
it all other because it is safe
specially with sms login

I really, really wish Hotmail and Office 365 offered this. Makes me feel much more secure knowing nobody can log into my account without an SMS confirmation code. Further if I get a code without asking for one, I know someone's trying to hack my account. So get on it, Microsoft, and give us two factor authentication, especially for us paying 365 users. Even Facebook has this!

Nick K said,

I really, really wish Hotmail and Office 365 offered this. Makes me feel much more secure knowing nobody can log into my account without an SMS confirmation code. Further if I get a code without asking for one, I know someone's trying to hack my account. So get on it, Microsoft, and give us two factor authentication, especially for us paying 365 users. Even Facebook has this!

What are you talking about? I'm very sure Hotmail has had SMS authentication. The Guardian even wrote an article about it and tells you how to do it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/tech...cebook-hotmail-stop-hacking

Moved away from Hotmail as soon as Gmail Beta came out. I mainly moved for the advanced spam protection, clean UI and speed.
I recently logged in to my Hotmail to check up on it and although MS have been updating it a lot, i still wouldn't use it much, i just don't want to be with an email service that's always playing catch up.

If every (or even most) Android phone activated creates a Gmail account, it's probably true, if misleading.

/uses gmail

smot said,
If every (or even most) Android phone activated creates a Gmail account, it's probably true, if misleading.

/uses gmail

Agreed. you need a google account to fully benefit from an android handset, and the email comes with and straight to the phone. Android handsets are coming in faster speeds like 4G/LTE too, where another competitor is still in the 3G 14Mbit relm, which is likely driving sales too.

lomas said,
The new Yahoo Mail is pretty good, it supports tab and yahoo messenger.

I agree, I love it too over Gmail and hotmail.

I have all 3 setup in Thunderbird. My main is Yahoo just because thats what I've used for 8 years. No problems with any of them regarding outages/hacking/spam.

What is the purpose of this on neowin?? why does it matter if site A has more users than site B?? Why does this matter to anyone else other than the competing companies?? How are people suppose to use this information??

Obviously its important for the investors, but i think they will go to the source rather than 3rd hand article.

All i can see for general is people using the info as site A is better because it has more users so therefor i am as well!! or site A is more popular so i need to sign up to be in the cool crowd!!

exotoxic said,
What is the purpose of this on neowin?? why does it matter if site A has more users than site B?? Why does this matter to anyone else other than the competing companies?? How are people suppose to use this information??

Obviously its important for the investors, but i think they will go to the source rather than 3rd hand article.

All i can see for general is people using the info as site A is better because it has more users so therefor i am as well!! or site A is more popular so i need to sign up to be in the cool crowd!!

I'm finally witnessing signs of intelligent life... lol

exotoxic said,
What is the purpose of this on neowin?? why does it matter if site A has more users than site B?? Why does this matter to anyone else other than the competing companies?? How are people suppose to use this information??

Obviously its important for the investors, but i think they will go to the source rather than 3rd hand article.

All i can see for general is people using the info as site A is better because it has more users so therefor i am as well!! or site A is more popular so i need to sign up to be in the cool crowd!!

It's called "news". Say it with me now, "Neeeeeews" Pretty much all information pertaining to companies really only matters to their competitors or share holders. Maybe we should just stop posting news period since it's all such useless information!

while I must admit that I'm pretty biased towards Hotmail, (not including newsletters that I've signed up voluntarily for) I've always gotten a lot more spam in my GMail inbox than my Hotmail one. maybe it's just because my GMail is older, and has had more time to accumulate the spam?

99.99% of the time, I use Gmail with an Email client. I use the pop3 option, so I have a backup of my emails on my computer as well as on Gmail.

Ive started using my Hotmail Account alot recently, i prefer it to Gmail Plus it links in with my Sky Drive nicely to

I have a Gmail account, but all emails sent to it are redirected to my Hotmail account. I wonder if the statistics take into consideration people forwarding all of their inbox to other emails.

For someone who said something about Hotmail is more hackable than Gmail. Not true. Secondly, with Hotmail if people wanna read what I am typing to my mates they need to hack in, Google just does it on their own.

Even though privacy is pretty much a fallicy in today digital world, I still do not like a company reading my emails to suggest ads for me. If I wanna look up something I'll do it on my own with the help of Bing, not GPIA (Google Privacy Invasion Ads).

Gmail for me, I too have my hotmail pulled into my gmail inbox and it appropriately gets marked as spam when required. love my gmail

I'm a 18 years long Hotmail user. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that my Hotmail just doesn't have spam in my inbox... they all sit in my junk mail folder. I haven't found 1 wrongly flagged email in my junk mail folder. Hats of to Hotmail for keeping my box clean all these years. I know I may one of the few lucky ones, but as long as you don't click on everything that blinks "Free", you should be fine. Otherwise not even Google's advance spam filter can protect you from the s** load of junk heading your way

I have my Hotmail pushed to my Gmail and every other day a spam email that is allowed in my Hotmail inbox ends up in the spam folder on Gmail automatically so fail Hotmail

I've been using AOL for my primary email account for many years now and have found it to be excellent. It was one of the first free services to support IMAP and I have found the webmail to be much better than Gmail. I also get noticeably less spam than with my Hotmail or Gmail accounts. It was quite surprising, as I had always consider AOL to be a pretty terrible company.

The popularity of the service is irrelevant. It's how well it works for you.


But are Google's numbers for Gmail correct. VentureBeat.com reports that according to ComScore, Hotmail is still first with 325 million unique visitors. Yahoo's email service comes in second with 298 million users, and Gmail is in third place 289 million users.

That's based on website views. I access Gmail from my mail client and Android app. None of which is even counted in that metric.

simplezz said,

That's based on website views. I access Gmail from my mail client and Android app. None of which is even counted in that metric.

And your point is? I use Hotmail on my WP7, I use Hotmail through Outlook, I use Hotmail in the Win8 built-in email app. So if you are implying that GMail must have higher numbers because only GMail users use non-web interfaces, then you are wrong.

nohone said,

And your point is? I use Hotmail on my WP7, I use Hotmail through Outlook, I use Hotmail in the Win8 built-in email app. So if you are implying that GMail must have higher numbers because only GMail users use non-web interfaces, then you are wrong.


point is Android phone is the most popular phone and more people use it through the app. yes you can use hotmail on wp7 and those are not in metrics too but wp share is less compared to Android.

still1 said,

point is Android phone is the most popular phone and more people use it through the app. yes you can use hotmail on wp7 and those are not in metrics too but wp share is less compared to Android.

Yes, there are many Android devices in use. But the number of Windows users dwarves the number of Android users, and if a fraction of those Windows users use Outlook, Windows Mail (the built-in Windows mail client), or any other mail client from their desktop to access mail, then it only adds to Hotmail's numbers.

Besides, I have 2 Android devices. Both of them are/were used to access Hotmail, but not Gmail. There is not a 1:1 correspondence between Android devices and GMail accounts.

Cyborg_X said,
spam control on live/hotmail kicks gmail and yahoo's a**es.
no it doesn't, Gmail spam control in the past 3 years has been on top of poll and reviews.

Cyborg_X said,
spam control on live/hotmail kicks gmail and yahoo's a**es.

I think they differ in some ways and it's very user dependent. You can't really go wrong with any of them. Gmail, from what I've noticed lets a lot, if not all spam in but filters it reasonably well if you teach the service regularly otherwise some slips into the inbox.

Hotmail for example never puts spam in my inbox regardless of how little you teach it and I think they may have the policy of not allowing obvious spam getting to you in the first place which I prefer over Gmail as there is no point looking at the junk folder if there is hundreds of spam messages to check through if a legit email gets mistaken.

Again, you have to factor in the user for most personal opinions on spam and such but slight differences in the way each handles spam and I prefer Hotmail at the moment as they limit spam before it even reaches you whereas Google from what I've experienced doesn't seem to do.

Good services all round now, and light years ahead of what we were suffering before Gmail made everyone up their game going to 1GB etc.

Funny, I dropped Hotmail because the filter was rubbish. I think I've seen maybe two spam emails in my inbox in the 3+ years I've been using gmail. That's using the same email address that's getting spam on Hotmail (forwarded with Hotmail and now its a proper Google Apps domain).

The filter on my age old Yahoo is just laughable. I tried to forward that to GMail to get it filtered, as I find the GMail filter so good, but Yahoo want to charge for that privilege

oceanmotion said,

I think they differ in some ways and it's very user dependent. You can't really go wrong with any of them. Gmail, from what I've noticed lets a lot, if not all spam in but filters it reasonably well if you teach the service regularly otherwise some slips into the inbox.

Hotmail for example never puts spam in my inbox regardless of how little you teach it and I think they may have the policy of not allowing obvious spam getting to you in the first place which I prefer over Gmail as there is no point looking at the junk folder if there is hundreds of spam messages to check through if a legit email gets mistaken.

Again, you have to factor in the user for most personal opinions on spam and such but slight differences in the way each handles spam and I prefer Hotmail at the moment as they limit spam before it even reaches you whereas Google from what I've experienced doesn't seem to do.

Good services all round now, and light years ahead of what we were suffering before Gmail made everyone up their game going to 1GB etc.

Let me put it this way.

When you have A LOT of websites telling you "if you're using hotmail, please check your spam folder" when it comes to receiving the ever-so-annoying "confirmation emails", you know hotmail spam filter sucks.

On the other hand, hotmail needs an stricter spam filter because I did indeed receive insane amounts spam on this (its not hotmails fault what I get send, anyway)

Ive noticed my gmail spam folder gets less emails every time, so the amount has decreased in the recent years. I rarely ever get false positives, but hey do happen.

drazgoosh said,
I have an account with all of them, and I prefer Yahoo.

Same here. Of course, these days I just use the client on my iPhone and iPad so I never really interact with their webmails any more so even if hotmail or gmail would become better on the web there would be no reason to bother switching.

Well, an active user is someoen that logs into the service, right? And activating an android phone basically involves setting up your gmail account, right? So... herp derp for Google. I'm sure Microsoft will be able to make the same claim once Windows 8 comes out, and every-single-user has an @live or @hotmail account.

greenwizard88 said,
Well, an active user is someoen that logs into the service, right? And activating an android phone basically involves setting up your gmail account, right? So... herp derp for Google. I'm sure Microsoft will be able to make the same claim once Windows 8 comes out, and every-single-user has an @live or @hotmail account.

A Microsoft account doesn't require you to use a hotmail account though, you can keep using Gmail.

Yeah, an Android purchase pretty much means a new gmail, G+ account.

MS doesn't force Hotmail on users, you can choose gmail, yahoo or whatever.

oceanmotion said,
Yeah, an Android purchase pretty much means a new gmail, G+ account.

MS doesn't force Hotmail on users, you can choose gmail, yahoo or whatever.

This is true but you still get a live account even when you use a gmail or any other email address it there is an live.com address attached to your email address.

Juan Rodriguez said,
This is true but you still get a live account even when you use a gmail or any other email address it there is an live.com address attached to your email address.

no its not, i have a gmail account as live account, it does not have an @live email adres.
currently its connected to my other live account, which i have with live domains and own domain, it also does not have an @live email adres (way to generic name too )

Shadowzz said,

no its not, i have a gmail account as live account, it does not have an @live email adres.
currently its connected to my other live account, which i have with live domains and own domain, it also does not have an @live email adres (way to generic name too )
I understand you use a gmail account as your live id however there is a unique id attached to your gmail account this is a long number and letters which is a live email address it use to be shown before but now its masked.. look under your account you will see it.. you can best believe MS is counting your gmail address attached to the live unique address as a Hotmail account..

Juan Rodriguez said,
This is true but you still get a live account even when you use a gmail or any other email address it there is an live.com address attached to your email address.

You can make a live account with other email addresses, like @gmail.com... but it doesn't setup a hotmail/email account for you. It just allows you to use the other email address to access live services.

On the other hand, I have a gmail email address that I never use because Google decided it would be a good idea to make one for me...

the better twin said,
Does it?

Well the problem with Hotmail and yahoo mail, might in fact be that that Most of my users who I get calls from telling me their accounts have been taken over and are sending emails to all their friends, are probably using passwords in the dictionary and aren't the sharpest tools in the drawer when it comes to computers.

warwagon said,
Gmail FTW! At least it gets hacked less.

You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.

simplezz said,

You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.

Hotmail used to be bad for spam, but they must have beefed up their filters because I get about as much on my @live.ca account as I do on my @gmail.com account, which is to say next to none at all

simplezz said,

You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.

I get more spam in my gmail account than my 2 hotmail acounts. Probably because my gmail account is my throwaway email used to sign up to forums.

warwagon said,
Well the problem with Hotmail and yahoo mail, might in fact be that that Most of my users who I get calls from telling me their accounts have been taken over and are sending emails to all their friends, are probably using passwords in the dictionary and aren't the sharpest tools in the drawer when it comes to computers.

The problem is that the same users are using random website to find who blocked them on Hotmail chat (Messenger) and are giving their password to anyone.

simplezz said,
You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.
You always get less spam with a newly created email than an old email registered on dozen of websites.

warwagon said,
Gmail FTW! At least it gets hacked less.


GMAIL YES!

Hotmail was the king of getting spam when I was younger. Gmail, at least they sort out the spam before it actually happens. Yahoo, I just never liked their style.

simplezz said,

You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.

You're kidding about the spam, right? All 3 of my Gmail accounts get spammed to death and NO ONE knows the addresses even!

Haven't used not so hot Hotmail in years but it was terrible then,

I'll take Yahoo any day!

cork1958 said,

You're kidding about the spam, right? All 3 of my Gmail accounts get spammed to death and NO ONE knows the addresses even!

Haven't used not so hot Hotmail in years but it was terrible then,

I'll take Yahoo any day!


Using Hotmail since 1998, more than a decade and no spam on my first account, on my live account, received two this month after after 5~6 years (some **** head posted it online). For me Hotmail FTW!

saying that gmail or hotmail gets more spam is stupid... you get spam because of your own stupidity.. lets say both gmail and hotmail account get same amount of spam, gmail do a better job of finding it and flagging it spam. hotmail do a terrible job

cork1958 said,

You're kidding about the spam, right? All 3 of my Gmail accounts get spammed to death and NO ONE knows the addresses even!

Haven't used not so hot Hotmail in years but it was terrible then,

I'll take Yahoo any day!

How is Gmail with filtering the spam? I see no spam. it all gets put in the spam folder automatic!

simplezz said,

You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.

I have an Gmail account that I don't use that also get inundated with spam. How is that possible when the account isn't even used and I've never sent a message from it?

simplezz said,

You forgot spam. I moved to Gmail because every other email account gets inundated with it. I haven't seen any spam in years since getting a Gmail account.

Gmail has great spam filters and it also has good configurable rules. You can get it to do so much stuff automatically and it all happens on the server side...almost puts Outlook + Exchange to shame IMHO.

Shadrack said,

Gmail has great spam filters and it also has good configurable rules. You can get it to do so much stuff automatically and it all happens on the server side...almost puts Outlook + Exchange to shame IMHO.

Can't be all that great.. I'm checking my gmail account and in the past 7 days, I got spams for day trading, porn, and some chinese MMO web game. Then in the actual spam folder, a legit message from someone I know ended up in there.