March 31, 2005 8:10 PM PST

Google plans to double Gmail capacity--at least

Google says it will dramatically ramp up the storage available with its Gmail Web-based e-mail service, raising the bar for rivals in the sharply competitive business for the second time in a year.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Web giant on Friday plans to double the free storage on Gmail from 1GB to 2GB, said Georges Harik, Gmail product management director. After that, Google will add a yet-to-be-determined amount of extra storage daily, with no plans to stop.

The move highlights the seemingly inexhaustible storage needs of a small group of heavy e-mail users, and the sharply falling costs of online storage. Lifting predefined storage caps for Web-based e-mail could have broader ripple effects, Harik said, changing the way people think about quotas from something that is set in advance to something that grows with the user.

"We wanted to make sure we have a plan in place for when people reach their storage limit," he explained. "We don't want people to worry that they might run out."

Google first broke the e-mail mold on April 1, 2004, with an announcement so bizarre that many assumed it was an April Fools' Day joke. Gmail's 1GB of free storage at the time was widely thought to exceed the lifetime needs of most e-mail users. By contrast, rivals such as Yahoo and Microsoft offered about 10MB of storage, seeking to charge customers who wanted more.

A slew of imitators scrambled to match and even exceed Google's free 1GB storage offer, transforming the Web-based e-mail business.

In addition to its gargantuan storage capacity, Gmail distinguished itself from rivals by scanning the text of e-mail messages to serve up contextual advertisements--a plan that raised a short-lived furor over potential privacy violations.

In the first year of service, Gmail defied expectations, Harik said. The privacy concerns have amounted to little or nothing, he said, but the storage capacity became a pressing concern when some heavy Gmail users came close to using up their preset limit.

"One gigabyte did seem like a lot, but it turns out there are a lot of heavy users of mail," he said. "They send attachments, share photos. It all adds up." He said Google discourages customers from using Gmail as a vast storage locker for music and video files. He said Google does not disclose the storage patterns of its users, but said a small but not insignificant number of users were close to exceeding the 1GB limit.

Gmail will remain in a beta, or public test phase, for now, Harik added, putting to rest rumors that the closely watched service might be released officially in the near future. He said plans for new features could hold back an official release but gave no timeline.

51 comments

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Gmail
its true the account size is going up as we speak!
Posted by (1 comment )
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Also Rich Text Formatting!
Finally getting some rich text formatting too :)

P.S. My account's limit is only up to 1072 Mb right now.
Posted by Rusdude (170 comments )
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Where is IMAP?
Whoever is going to win this so-called war is not a 1GB or 2GB or a 250MB inbox. It is the one who will offer IMAP. I would gladly take a 250MB IMAP inbox over a 2GB inbox. Reason? Simple. I have multiple e-mail account. Those use for work, leisure, and online shopping. I use e-mail client to access them and on multiple computer. With IMAP, I can have a single e-mail like Eudora, Thunderbird or Outlook to access all my accounts. No need to manually login in each or run 3-4 notifier.
Posted by (10 comments )
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Ohhh
I wonder if gmail is pulling a joke on us all, this is what I saw I logged on:
"You are currently using 3 MB (0%) of your 1337 MB."

Having a 1337 mailbox is something kinda geeky but would be funny for all the geeks at Gmail...
Posted by Pie4Weebl (15 comments )
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April fools
it has got to be!!
Posted by the liquid man (44 comments )
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More Space for me
Just checked my Gmail account and found:
You are currently using 23 MB (2%) of your 1386 MB.
So far I am most impressed with my Gmail account, and the price is definitely right.
Posted by Bogeyboy (1 comment )
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This will mean something when I can get it!
Its a "beta". I get hundreds of emails a day, none from anyone from gmail. The "lead" these folks have is meaningless. And I am still concerned about privacy.

Steve Hynes
Posted by shynes (15 comments )
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Who cares?
Seriously now... 2 GB of email storage? Hopefully somebody can tell me what they are using such a large amount of space for.... anybody?

The only thing I can think of... is that Google is making it easier to keep tons of ancient and worthless junk.... like the answering machine that is always full because the owner hates to delete messages. Does ANYBODY handle 2GB of email in a day? a week? a month? Who out there actually has a REAL USE for this much email space? Anybody?
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
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Why not make it unlimited already?
If they're just going to continue to up peoples storage limit, why not just make storage unlimited? It'll lead to that eventually anyway.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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Too long in beta! When is this thing being released?
It's been a full year since Google announced Gmail and it's still not available. What's the hold up? Did they plan on taking this long in beta, or have they had problems with it?
Posted by (61 comments )
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Wokring Great For Me...
Well My Firefox (V 1.0.2) Has no problems with Rich Text Formatting. I am also trying it on my mom's old PIII 600 just to make a point. It sounds like that guys having problems with it has a more serious system problem.
My gMail is now at 2076 MB's and still climbing, What the heck am I gonna do with all this?
I guess I can store more apps and *cough*cracks*cough* there to use from wherever I need to rather than toting around a silly usb flash drive.
And as for IMAP support?
IF you are using a free service and expect to get what most paid services dont offer, you need a reality check.
I would like to see a "synchronize account" option for pop3 so it updates like hotmail will through outlook express.
Posted by bean_mrbean (15 comments )
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"You are currently using __ MB of your 2057 MB."
This is the message that greets me at the bottom of the screen and I must say that I'm half shocked and half impressed. I mean, CRIPES! They really upped the ante for the other players in the game. I'd be surprised if anyone followed suit in the near future.

The Gmail account I have is eight times the size of my Comcast mailbox, and yet I pay nothing for it. I don't think I'll ever understand Google's business model, but they have my respect and admiration for doing what they do.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
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Competition destroyed! Thank you Google
This is the way a free market should be. And I dont mean that you should get everything in the market for free. They thought that they can mess with people by offering them 2mb or 4mb space on an email, and after people get tons of JUNK/SPAM mail so they constantly have to delete it, they would be forced to pay for a little more storage.

Just to think only a year ago hotmail offered 2mb. They never once thought about the customer(email users) yet MS gets loads of money from their banner ads. Ever tried to put a banner ad on hotmail? Yet instead of thinking about the people that gives them the dough, they kept pressing us for more money so we could buy more storage from their spam/filt infiltrated email.

Thank you google for catching Microsoft and yahoo with its pants down!

Once google has its IM, I would clean un-install ms messenger and hotmail would be forgotmail.
Posted by lavacentral (61 comments )
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More features? Increase attachment size limit
I have read comments about IMAP access yet I havent really heard about the idea of increasing their attachment limit.

It is great that they offered 10mb attachment size which also prompted yahoo&MS to increase theirs from a measly 1mb.

I think its time that google raised its attachment limit to 20mb or even 50mb. I know it is not necessary for photos and such, but sometimes it could be quite handy for short videos >10mb that I would like to send to family and friends.
Posted by lavacentral (61 comments )
Reply Link Flag
need a Gmail address
can u invite me for a Gmail address
my Google Acc is "double_chocoz@yahoo.com" and email is "doublechoco@googlegroups.com"
thanks alot
Posted by doublechoco (1 comment )
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