Microsoft has announced a 1 GB upgrade of e-mail storage capacity, for the 260 million active MSN Hotmail accounts worldwide.
Inboxes of Hotmail users will now be upgraded to 1GB of space. With the blog, Microsoft will continue to upgrade the storage up to 2GB and 4GB to accounts with fees.
Also, inactive accounts will now be allowed an expiration period of 60 days for accounts that are more than two years old, instead of the prior 30-day period. The upgrade has come as an attempt to meet the evolving needs of Hotmail users as they make the transition to Microsoft’s next generation email service, Windows Live Mail, which is currently in beta.
The storage upgrade, which began rolling out in Asia on November 7, will affect Hotmail users in ten markets in the region including Australia, China, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore.
Hotmail has been slow in catching up with rival Gmail, which had introduced its service with 1 GB storage capacity, in April 2004 and upgraded it to 2GB in 2005. Yahoo! Mail and Rediff Mail have also had 1 GB storage capacity for almost 2 years. Now, Windows Live Mail will feature 2 GB storage space, 120 days expiration period, anti-phishing features, address Autocomplete, and drag-and-drop functionality making it easier to read, send, and organize email messages.