Google Set to Shake Free Webmail Market

Google announced plans to roll out a new service called Gmail, which will provide users with another option in the free Web-based email market. The company will leverage its search technology to provide users with an easy way to organize and search the new mail service. The free offering will provide users with a whopping 1GB of storage, which dwarfs Hotmail's free 2MB offering as well as Yahoo's free 4MB offering. (Both Hotmail and Yahoo offer users the ability to buy more space.) Gmail's enormous amount of storage should help Google attract many users who might have been skeptical about switching email addresses. Another unique feature of Google's new service will be the delivery of targeted advertisements to email readers. For example, if you send an email message to a friend about an upcoming concert event, the friend can expect to see an advertisement for concert ticket sales displayed alongside the message. Google's new offering helps make the company more of a traditional Web portal. It will be interesting to see how the other Web giants respond to Google's entry into email.

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