Microsoft Gives Windows Live Hotmail A Storage Boost - InformationWeek

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Microsoft Gives Windows Live Hotmail A Storage Boost

Other enhancements include boosting the e-mail service's speed and making it easier to view images and links in messages.

Microsoft is adding storage to Windows Live Hotmail and adding a number of additional enhancements to the online service in a competitive move against Google.

The company said it will increase the amount of storage space available to Hotmail users from 2 Gbytes to 4 Gbytes for the free version and from 5 Gbytes to 10 Gbytes for the paid version. The move puts the basic version of Hotmail well ahead of Google's comparable product. Gmail features about 2.6 Gbytes of online storage, according to Google.

Microsoft's enhancements to Hotmail, which the company said it will roll out "over the next few weeks," go beyond storage.

Microsoft said it would extend the time that messages are left in "junk" and "delete" folders, include a tool that eliminates duplicate contact entries, and make it easier for users to view images and links embedded in messages.

And stating that it's hearing Hotmail users "loud and clear," Microsoft said it is making architectural changes to Hotmail to increase its speed. The company did not provide specifics, however.

Some users aren't satisfied with the changes. In the comments section on Microsoft's Hotmail blog, one poster said Microsoft needs to add POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3) support to Hotmail "if you want to compete with Gmail."

POP3, which is supported by Google's offering, is a standard that lets users access their e-mail from any POP3-compliant client.

Microsoft said it also is adding to Windows Live Hotmail support for Hebrew and Arabic -- languages in which words run from right to left.

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