In order to attract more subscribers, Yahoo Inc. has recently launched a packaged e-mail service 'Mail Plus' that offers additional facilities but it comes at a premium. The new service attempts to lure users looking for more storage space in their online mailboxes and the flexibility to use multiple e-mail addresses from one domain.
Priced at $29.95 per year, the new service can store data up to 25 megabytes of space, send upto 10 attachments of upto 10MB total, has POP access, hard-drive archiving and extra filters. Yahoo expects the ability to send messages using other e-mail addresses to be the most popular perquisite.
However, Yahoo will continue to offer its free e-mail service to users willing to accept more restrictions. The free service is the second most popular on the Web, ranking behind Microsoft Corp.'s Hotmail, according to industry analysts.
With more Internet users operating multiple e-mail boxes, Yahoo is counting on the ability to consolidate addresses as a major draw. An estimated 61 percent of consumers now have more than one e-mail account, according to a study by Jupiter Research.
Under pressure to improve its bottom line, Yahoo seems to be moving in the right direction but may face opposition from many registered users spoiled by years of free e-mail access. Both Yahoo and Hotmail are working towards making their free e-mail service less attractive by restricting the mailbox storage space and imposing other restrictions. For example, Yahoo's free e-mailbox doesn't allow users to store more than 4 megabytes and even limits e-mails attachments to three numbers in a single mail.
The company has about 1.5 million subscribers but would shift to the premium e-mail services is a big question!