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.
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.
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.