How Far Will the Various Free Webmail Providers Take the Innovation-Matching Trend?

We have to start by understanding what the ‘innovation-matching’ trend we will be exploring is all about, before trying to understand how far the free webmail providers are likely to take it. By free webmail providers, by the way, we are looking at the likes of Google (via www.gmail.com), Microsoft (via Hotmail) and Yahoo (via Yahoo Mail). And we are actually looking at a trend where, in fierce completion, each of these free webmail providers has been making efforts to match the innovations made by others, to ensure that they remain ‘ahead of the best.’ When Gmail, for instance, came up with the unlimited email storage offer, we saw its competitors upping their storage allowances, to remain relevant. When Gmail incorporated AJAX programming, it was just a matter of time, before others did so… There must be a limit to this innovation-matching trend, and we are trying to identify the point at which that end is likely to be.

It emerges that the end to the innovation-matching trend among free webmail providers is likely to come when certain free webmail providers find it financially imprudent, or technically impossible for them to keep matching. By the way, this is already manifesting in certain areas: some free webmail providers, for instance, have found themselves unable to incorporate the chat-on-email functionality now available at gmail.com.

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