Gmails Terabyte Glitch Heightens Storage Race

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-05-19 Print this article Print

Google confirms that the 1 terabyte of storage space that test users of its free e-mail service noticed this week was a bug in the system, not a new height in free space.

The e-mail storage race appeared to have reached a new height this week when test users of Googles free Gmail service noticed having not just 1 gigabyte of storage, but 1 terabyte. But the appearance of the "1000000 MB" ticker at the bottom of their Gmail inboxes was no more than a system bug that Google Inc. is working to fix, the company confirmed Wednesday. "That in fact was a bug," spokesman Nathan Tyler said. "Were working to fix it. Gmail offers users 1 gigabyte of storage."
A move to 1 terabyte would have been significant, given the storage war Gmail has unleashed since going into an invite-only beta test April 1. Since Gmails offer of a gigabyte of free e-mail storage, competitors have rushed to up the ante.
Earlier this week, the Lycos Europe portal attempted to overstep Gmail by offering a gigabyte of storage for e-mail users—but for a fee. Google has not said when Gmail will be generally available. Click here to read an eWEEK interview with Sergey Brin on Gmails future. Top Google competitor Yahoo Inc. said during its analysts day last week that it was planning this summer to increasing storage space for free e-mail users to 100 megabytes. Google is testing new e-mail groups. Click here to read more. With Gmail, Google has trumpeted the far-reaching storage limits as a major difference from other services, allowing users to keep a massive archive of older messages yet still be able to search through them using the Google search built into Gmail. Gmail also has caused privacy concerns because of the way it delivers advertising. Google is displaying AdSense text ads alongside e-mails that are triggered by an analysis of the keywords within a message. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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