Gizmodo just announced that Microsoft is done testing with LIVE meaning you can go and setup a free new LIVE Hotmail account with …@live.com as a suffix to your email id. I just registered ninjatales-at-live-dot-com so you should go get yours too with something that resembles your name more closely than firstname.lastname@example.org (just an example) or some weird zany nick that you might’ve had instead.
Another thing to consider is that Yahoo! last week officially upgraded all Yahoo! Mail accounts to “unlimited” storage which trumps all other free virtual email hosts.
Yahoo! Mail – Unlimited
MSN Live Mail – 5GB
Google Mail – 4.5GB
MSN Hotmail (unupgraded version) – 1GB
If you haven’t upgraded your Hotmail, you’ll still only have 1GB but fear not, it’ll soon be ported over regardless. So if you prefer the old Hotmail look like me, then you’re better off creating your own new @LIVE.com Hotmail address cuz they’ll look the same and both accounts will have 5GB storage.
Google’s email “beta” service also known as Gmail is now languishing in the bottom (if you ignore the unupgraded Hotmail accounts) with only 4.5GB storage. But it’s the only one that allows you to chat with other Gmail users through your browser when you surf into your email. It should be on the left hand column and you are free to move the list of your friends to the top or below. Offline messages and very basic emoticons are supported.
But out of all them, I prefer Yahoo’s mail service. It’s spam filter isn’t the greatest but if you’re using the “Classic” mode like I do, then it loads the fastest and pretty much is a no-nonsense kinda email server. Very easy to use interface and not slow and laggy and memory intensive like Hotmail or Live.
So pick your poison. Yahoo! Mail gives you the most storage space but has a crappy spam filter and it’s hard to find a good username cuz it’s been out for so long. Gmail runs very fast and is reliable but has the least storage 4.5GB which is still a lot. MSN Live Hotmail lets you pick your own name but how long will that last. Also, Live/Hotmail is very slow and has a lot of dependent functions it needs to call from external locations making the whole loading process a pain in the back sometimes. Too many errors with Live/Hotmail but you get to pick your name unless you have a common name like “allah” or “steve_smith” etc.
EDIT 11/29/07: Gmail storage has been bumped to 5GB and is expected to increase again. The old Hotmail has been taken down and everybody has been switched over to the LIVE servers. This means YAHOO has the worst email service from the 3.