Google on Wednesday threw another bone to customers of Gmail, its free Web-based e-mail service. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company now allows people to download e-mail from any third-party account or forward their Gmail for free, or what's called POP (Post Office Protocol) access. Using the feature, people can send Gmail e-mail to mobile devices, such as a Blackberry, or to Microsoft Outlook. The company, whose offer of 1 gigabyte of mail storage prompted rivals to follow suit with added storage, said it does not have any plans to charge for either feature.
Rivals including Yahoo and Microsoft charge for similar POP access. Yahoo Mail, for example, collects $19.95 for POP e-mail forwarding, among other premium features. It does not charge for POP downloading to Yahoo Mail.