Google to offer gigabyte of free e-mail

Google, the company that made off with the search market, is setting its sights on free e-mail.

The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., on Wednesday will launch a test with about 1,000 invited guests to try out a new e-mail service called "Gmail." Google, which made its name in search but has added numerous services, such as a news aggregation page and a newsgroup interface, says that Gmail is search-based e-mail. Like Yahoo Mail and MSN Hotmail, Gmail will let users search through their e-mail. Unlike those competitors, though, Google will offer enough storage so that the average e-mail account holder will never have to delete messages.

Hotmail currently offers 2MB of free e-mail storage. Yahoo offers 4MB. Gmail will dwarf those offerings with a 1GB storage limit. Google plans to make money from the service by inserting advertisements into messages based in part on their content, effectively extending its AdWords program for presenting contextual ads in Web pages to e-mail. "The idea is that your mail can stay in there forever," said Wayne Rosing, vice president of engineering at Google. "You can always index it, always search it, and always find things from the past."

News source: C|Net News.com

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