Today Yahoo! announced significant changes to the Yahoo! Mail service. Here are some of the highlights:
- Free accounts have storage increased from 4 to 100 MB
- Paid accounts (Yahoo! Mail Plus, SBC DSL) will increase to 2 GB (described as “virtually unlimited”)
- Attachments supported up to 10 MB
- More streamlined design for the mail interface
- Faster, improved search
- More account names being made available
Clearly this is in part a response to Google's Gmail service with free 1 GB mail accounts. Competition is a good thing — hopefully the expanded storage along with the new feature set will continue to keep Yahoo! Mail in the lead.
The free account storage of 100 MB is really cool and will probably be more than enough for most people. I believe Hotmail's storage at the free level is still an anemic 2 MB — wonder when they'll finally respond to Gmail?
While the storage will clearly get most of the attention, I'm excited to see the releasing of “more than 50 million Yahoo! IDs”. I'm not sure where these IDs are coming from — perhaps they are old, dormant accounts that have never been closed. (I've heard internally that it takes a really long time for an account to really go away.)