Google has a well-earned reputation for returning high-quality search results quickly.
But, it seems like they may not have been fast enough between their announcement and general delivery of their GMail email service. The big draw was that they would boost the maximum capacity to 1 GB of space, while others were only offering 2-4 MB of space for free accounts.
Unfortunately for Google, it seems that they have given the competition time to react before the GMail beta test is complete. Yahoo already announced an increase to 100MB which will be sufficient to keep most of their customers from making the effort to switch to a new system.
And, now, it seems that Microsoft is announcing that the Hotmail capacity will be increased to 250MB for free accounts starting this July, and 2GB for premium accounts. I suspect that the vast majority of Hotmail users will continue to stay with Hotmail rather than go through the trouble of switching their addresses, and learning a new system.
GMail has some cool features and a nice, clean, interface. But Hotmail has some advantageous features too. But, most importantly, they have an established base of users who need to have a good reason to switch.
I think that Google underestimated Microsoft’s agility. They’re not the first to make that mistake, and probably won’t be the last.
GMail will have to try harder to add sufficient value with their service to lure customers away. I look forward to their attempts, because the competition will be good for all of us.
In fact, it already has been good for us.