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Russian e-mail providers fight over Google

Russian Internet (Runet) is still scandalous due to the introduction of unlimited free of charge mail services.

Last week, in an attempt to resist possible aggression from Russian version of Yahoo! Mail services and Google's GMail, a well-known Russian search engine Yandex has informed of its intention to launch unlimited mailbox for its users.

The event took place on April 22nd. When on-line correspondents who specialize in scandals within the Runet asked representatives of the Russian leading mail program Mail.Ru to comment the situation, the latter preferred to take a short time out. A while later, they issued a press-release clearly stating that they have introduced such unlimited mailboxes a day before Yandex. Following was a fight with mutual accusations.

In reality, according to majority of observers, these new regulations will not affect the outcome of the battle of Russian-speaking users of Russian portals with their Western competitors mainly due to the quality of service.

Before GMail even gets activated, it can already be ascertained that the new Western e-mail engine will be just as ascetic in its operation as its parent. GMail intends to make money on content advertising, based upon search analysis of a particular sender. In addition, after absolutely unsubstantiated claims of American legal experts regarding the work of the crawler, Google's representatives have already commented that each user will have a choice of either letting the system's robot in their mailbox or not.

Russian Mail.Ru in contrast, is completely flooded with banners (primarily barter banners) to such extent that users from the Far East, for instance, have to pay lots of money for Internet access. Taking into account relatively low income of residents of Russian provinces, those people have to pay a lot more for Internet access than those in Moscow or St. Petersburg. They have to pay for Internet traffic, major portion of which is being generated by banners on Mail.Ru. Obviously, such peculiarity of the Russian leader of e-mail services clearly points to its weak marketing strategy.

Undoubtedly, a user will leave for another mail provider, the one that will first of all respect him/her and not simply try to make money off of its users. It is also obvious that neither Yahoo!Mail nor GMail will advertise themselves by means of banners of eye-winking ladies on the Runet. This will definitely benefit them.

Another advantage of the Western e-mail services will be their refusal to lie to their customers. At the moment, as I am writing this material, for instance, Mail.Ru's main page contains a highlighted message informing of unlimited capacity of one's mailbox. Their press-release however that explains just this has been released on April 22nd, but indicated date appears to be April 21. At the same time, once a user accesses his “Inbox”, he is being promptly informed of available 26 megabytes. A week later after the official statement of unlamented capacity, Yandex mailbox capacity constitutes 21 megabytes.

So basically, the entire fight between Russian Internet portals has been going on or almost a week now evolving mainly around the issue of who deceived Runet users first. Claims regarding who was first to introduce unlimited mailbox capacity were left aside. After all, nobody has introduced such unlimited mailbox yet.

In the end, one can arrive at the following conclusion. In times when world giants invade Runet, Russian e-mail services are basically doomed. Sadly, but it appears that the staff of these Russian e-mail services has nothing better to do than make false statements while anticipating real competition.

Pyotr Ermilin