Hereis a bit of news that may grind your coffee, especially if you used to have an iTools account. According to C|Net, Linare, a new manufacturer of Linux-only PCs will offer Linux users an email@example.com e-mail account with 6MB of storage for free. Additional storage and spam blocking will cost extra. From the article, Linux PC maker plans e-mail service:
Linare has grander ambitions for the Linux.net Web site, though. In a second phase, scheduled to debut in early 2004, it will expand the site so that it will become a resource to help users, developers and companies collaborate better, Sundaram said.
"It does smack of some of that late-1990s marketing," IDC analyst Roger Kay said of the plan.
But the service could be popular with those who want to show their Linux loyalties, Kay added. "This is, in some ways, capitalizing on a kind of antiestablishment mentality--that there are people out there who would put bumper stickers on that would proclaim their status against the establishment," he said.
In addition, selling e-mail addresses to enthusiasts has been tried by better-known companies--notably, Apple Computer.
Appleis .Mac e-mail service was free, initially, but the company was able to quickly sign up 200,000 customers for the service when it shifted from free to paid subscriptions last year. However, itis not clear how many subscribers the Mac maker has now or how many will renew, given that the initial annual fee, $49, has been raised to $99.
Thereis more information in the full story at C|Net.