Email the modern mail

With so many variations I am always left in doubt as to how Email should actually be written. Should it be email, e-mail, E-mail or plain Email like I have used. Actually all these variations seem to be valid and have been used. Sigh! At last you can rest easy and not keep wondering. Confused or not, Email is a tool which has crept into our lives and buried itself in our work and leisure.

You must have noticed that a number of companies have joined the race and are provided a plethora of services Time was when the only option was to use the good old Microsoft offering of Outlook, fumbling with the POP3 and SMTP and all the while paying some service provider loads of money for a service which would become free eventually. Well paying for E-mail today seems ridiculous. The words SMTP and POP3 keep popping up whenever we come across email. Both are protocols for sending and receiving emails .

POP stands for Post Office Protocol and SMTP for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. The most popular free email service providers are MSN hotmail, Yahoo mail and lately Google’s Gmail. As on date there is a bloody turf war among these, each one vying to provide more free services than the other. I think the user is the eventual winner.

Free Email services It all started unraveling with the hotmail phenomenon. Free email? Nah. They will go bust in no time.

At least that’s what I thought. But the creators of hotmail laughed their way to the bank when Microsoft bought them out for a hefty (very hefty) sum. The race for email territory had begun. Yahoo soon joined the fray providing free e-mail. Users never found it so good. The major advantage of these services was that one could keep the mails on the web server without downloading them.

Personally I think, email software like outlook became redundant there and then. But I still see these programs (Outlook, Thunderbird etc.), so someone must be finding use for them I suppose. The next wave was initiated by Google. With one GB of space and 10 MB uploads, it left Hotmail and Yahoo looking like stingy moneylenders of yore. As part of its strategy Google’s Gmail membership is on invitation only.

But this is not much of a constraint, since registered users get to invite new users on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, Gmail is still in the beta testing stage (as all products of Google usually are). Yahoo and Hotmail (MSN) are both scrambling to retain their clientele by offering some new sops and opening their memory purse –strings.

All the while Gmail users are finding their allotted space increasing at the pace of 4 bytes per second. Initially, Gmail offered only two GB of space, but kept increasing it with usage. Copyright (c) 2007 Dean Barnard.

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