Google's Gmail vs. .Mac

Earlier this month, Google announced a new free e-mail service called Gmail. The service offers a Web interface and a full GB of e-mail storage, which will be needed, because Google will be storing your e-mail for ever, even when you "delete" it. BusinessWeekis Alex Salkever says that Gmail is rewriting the rules for online mail services, and that such a rewrite is a major threat to Appleis own .Mac. From BusinessWeek:

Anyone who hasnit heard about Googleis bold, new e-mail product must have been hiding under a rock for the past few weeks. The folks at the Googleplex plan to offer free Web e-mail accounts with 1 gigabyte of storage capacity. Thatis hundreds of times more capacity than the current free offerings at Yahoo! and Microsoftis Hotmail.

Itis not just the size that matters here, though. To pull off its plan, Google would have to build some extremely hardy software that can easily manage vast arrays of servers storing and managing e-mail accounts. It probably has already done so. Google is running a beta trial of Gmail with thousands of users and plans to have the service available to the public in the next few months.

Gmail has the potential to put the Web e-mail market on steroids. That, in turn, presents some interesting possibilities for Appleis own .Mac product. For $99 a year, .Mac subscribers get a veritable bag of goodies, including a .Mac e-mail account with virus protection, backup software, online file storage, and calendar-synching capabilities.

Thereis more information in full article at BusinessWeek.