Will Google charge for GMAIL?! (Google Gmail Beta review by PC Magazine)

PC Magazine breaks down the features of GMAIL, Yahoo and Hotmail.

As you can see GMAIL has some great features but they really need to get POP Mail supported to take it to the next level. However, I don’t know if Google will ever allow POP mail (i.e. being able to download your email to a desktop email client like Eudora, Outlook, Outlook Express, etc). The reason? If Google allows POP mail it will make it hard, or impossible, for them to include their targeted advertising in each email message. Ads would probably have to be at the bottom of the message in order to fit into the typical three-pain design of email, and ads would loose their formatting if the person had HTML email off.

Bottom line: The targeted advertising is how Google justifies the free 1GIG of email. POP mail makes it hard to maintain the advertising.

My guess? Google charges $19.95a year for POP email and creates their first, large scale paid relationship with their customers (Adsense and Adwords are a small population of people).

This could get very interesting.

Feature List

Gmail

Yahoo Mail

MSN Hotmail

Conversations

Yes

No

No

Storage

1GB

4MB

2MB

Labels

Yes

No
(Uses folders)

No
(Uses folders)

Built-in Search

Yes

Yes

Yes

Number of Attachments

Unlimited (10MB maximum size per message)

Three

Unlimited (1MB maximum size per message)

Virus scanning

No

Yes (Norton)

Yes (McAfee)

Address Book

No (Very basic contact management)

Yes

Yes

Import/Export Contacts

No

Yes

No
(Import only)

Calendar

No

Yes

No (Requires premium membership)

Spam Filter

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pop Access

No

No

No

Archiving

Yes

No

No

Automatic Forwarding

No

No

No

Forced Promotional Ad Tagline in Message

No

Yes

Yes

Notepad

No

Yes

No

Sync with Outlook, Outlook Express, Palm or Other Organizer

No

Yes

No

Expiration Time if Inactive

Nine months

Four months

30 days

Auto-Fill of E-Mail Addresses

Yes

No

No

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