AOL Enters Free WebMail Arena

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Internet giant America Online (AOL) has said that they are in beta testing with a new free webmail service, along the lines of Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail.

Dubbed “AOL Mail on the Web” (AMW? AOLMW?), it is already available to existing AOL members who registered to beta-test the product, and is expected to be opened to the public later in 2005.


In addition to being a stand-alone free webmail service, AOL has said that sometime in early 2005 it will replace the current web interface which allows AOL users to access their email via the web.

AOL has also tied their popular instant messenger service, AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) in to the mix, by providing a visual icon in an email if the sender is logged in to AIM at the time that the email is read.

What isn’t yet clear is whether AOL will attempt to go head-to-head with Yahoo and MSN, or even with Gmail, on storage space. Yahoo and Hotmail both now offer their users 250meg of storage, while Gmail provides users with an unprecedented 1gig of email storage. For the time being, the current 100meg of storage accorded to regular AOL users is what is being allowed for the new webmail service as well.

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It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out, as the giants battle for control of the webmail field. It certainly brings a new energy to “You’ve got mail”.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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