Yahoo Inc.is increasing the amount of storage provided with its free e-mail accounts and upgrading its desktop search software in its ongoing rivalry with Search engines Google and MSN.
Yahoo anounced Tuesday that it will provide 1 gigabyte of storage for each free e-mail account, up from 250 megabytes. The increased storage becomes available in mid-April.
The Sunnyvale-based company also is expanding the reach of its desktop software, a test product designed to find material stored on computer hard drives. Yahoo’s software, licensed from X1 Technologies, will now index content from e-mail address books and discussions in Yahoo’s instant messaging service. Google, MSN and AOL have all released similar desktop search tools in recent months.
The expansion of e-mail storage allows Yahoo to compete up with online search engine leader Google. Google offers an invitation-only service that has been offering 1 gigabyte of storage for nearly a year.
When Google introduced “Gmail,” Yahoo provided just 4 megabytes of free e-mail storage. Yahoo, which runs the world’s most popular Web site, has gradually increased its e-mail capacity in response to Google’s competitive threat. Microsoft’s Hotmail service offers 250 megabytes of free e-mail storage. For security of user’s email, Yahoo also iprovides software from Symantec Corp. to clean viruses detected in attachments.