Microsoft, Yahoo!, the merger and Google – Mail

Last time we took a look at Search, let us take a look at Mail now.

mailcomparison_thumb News

Looking at the above, the rankings are:
1. Yahoo! – Yahoo! Mail
2. Microsoft – Windows Live Hotmail
3. Google – Gmail

In this area, what would a Microsoft/Yahoo! merger mean? Google is far behind (user base) wether there will be a merger or not. Can Google catch up? Let’s compare some (main) features:

Web Mail   Windows Live Hotmail   Yahoo! Mail   Gmail
Storage   5/10 GB (Plus)  

unlimited

 

6 GB+

Attachment size   10/20 MB (Plus)   10/20 MB (Plus)   20 MB for total message
Email Client Access*   Free
Windows Live Mail
Microsoft Office Outlook Connector

Pay
Hotmail Plus, MSN Premium

  Free
retrieval in some countries, SMTP requires Plus

Pay
Yahoo! Mail Plus

  Free
More info   Homepage/wikipedia   Homepage/wikipedia   Homepage/wikipedia

*Not taking into account third party software retrieving mail from webmail services not supporting POP3 access.

What’s going to happen with these two (free) webmail services? Will they co-exist, or will Yahoo! Mail disappear into Windows Live Hotmail? If the latter, current Yahoo! Mail users will not be pleased as their online storage will decrease from unlimited to 5 GB. Unless of course Microsoft is going to offer the same for Windows Live Hotmail. If Microsoft does not, do you think that would drive current Yahoo! Mail users to Gmail? And what if Microsoft is going to offer at least the storage space Gmail offers now?