posted 03-24-2002 05:27 AM PT (US)
Yahoo! Geocities has, up until recently, had the best free website hosting available on the Internet. It's been best because rather than interfering with the design of our websites with mandatory banners, or giving our visitors annoying pop-up windows, Geocities has just given us a little ad square which takes up little space on the page and is easily removed by the visitor.
But a few months ago, that "little" ad squre became much bigger, extending about 500 pixels down the page. That was an annoyance, but even with it Geocities was far and away the best available for a free server. But then something else happened: Geocities added pop-up advertisements in addition to their now much larger "ad square". This has resulted Yahoo!'s website hosting dropping significantly from "the best", since many other reliable hosting companies provide hosting with just a pop-up window, without an ad square of any size.
Next we come to Yahoo! Email.
Yahoo!'s email, although not as popular (I don't think) as Hotmail, has been the best that I've seen. In exchange for the simple requirement of receiving a "spam" from Yahoo! once per week (or less), Yahoo! has allowed both email redirection to another email address, or has allowed POP3 access directly to the Yahoo! email account. It's a deal that blows Hotmail away.
But now Yahoo! is taking that away, too. Here's the actual text of their email:
Important service announcement regarding your POP3 or Mail Forwarding service. Please read on.
Effective April 24, 2002, Yahoo! Mail will no longer provide free POP3 Access or Auto Mail Forwarding to Yahoo! Delivers subscribers.
If you would like to continue using Mail Forwarding or POP3 Access, please subscribe to our improved package that allows you to:
* Use Outlook, Eudora, or another POP3 client to access and manage your Yahoo! Mail.
* Automatically forward your Yahoo! Mail to another email account -- even another Yahoo! address!
* Send larger attachments, now up to 5MB instead of the free 1.5MB limit.
* Send email without the Yahoo! promotional text at the bottom.*
Sign up today and SAVE 33%
Subscribe before April 24th and get the first year of service for just $19.99. That's 33% off the regular service fee of $29.99.
Remember, if you do not subscribe by April 24, 2002, you will no longer be able to access your Yahoo! Mail messages by POP or at another email address.
The Yahoo! Mail Team
For further information, please read our frequently asked questions. Please note that your Yahoo! Delivers settings will not be affected.
*Applies only to email sent through the Yahoo! SMTP servers.
There are three major players on the Internet: Yahoo!, AOL, and MSN. My hallucination is that for the majority of the life of Internet, Yahoo! has been THE 500lb gorilla on the Internet, with AOL being a rising star. Lately, MSN has been making some tremendous progress (hell, I just signed up to get DSL access through MSN, even), and is probably giving AOL a few worries. After this latest issue with Yahoo!, I expect them to fall to position #3 fairly quickly.