Gmail vs. Hotmail vs. Yahoo Mail

The battle between the “Big 3” in the online mail realm really interests me because it’s amazing how over the years I have given focus to all 3: Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. Initially I started out using a service called Visto because it offered 15 MB of space soon after its retirement I started using Microsoft’s Hotmail. I think it offered something like 3-5 MB of space and almost everyone I knew was using it at the time. Around the same time I opened up a Yahoo Mail account, which I still really like using because of the simplicity in its interface. Finally when Gmail came out I got myself an invitation almost immediately and didn’t think I was going to get much use out of it. However that was completely the opposite since I use Gmail more frequently than I do Yahoo Mail or Hotmail now. Below is a graph of my estimated email usage over the last few years and you can totally see the shift in power from Hotmail to Gmail.

Below are a few charts indicating market share between Google, Yahoo and Microsoft from Hitwise.

Earlier this year, Techcrunch did their own comparison and Gmail ended up coming out on top in their testing/research as well:

“Overall we prefer Gmail over all other webmail applications because performance (speed) is consistently fast, and emails can be tagged making search much more effective. They also offer more storage and other features, and it’s free. However, Yahoo and Live Hotmail offer more mainstream Outlook-like user interfaces (although Live Hotmail does not allow you to access other email accounts from their application), whereas Gmail takes some time to get used to. If you are looking for speed and tagging is important, Gmail is for you. If you are looking for the closest thing to Outlook online, go with Yahoo Mail. “


Google Up 43% in 2008!


July 2009 – (Source TechCrunch)

Gmail is now the third largest Web mail service in the U.S. In July, Gmail nudged past AOL Email with 37 million unique visitors compared to 36.4 million for AOL, according to comScore estimates. That puts Gmail within sight of the No. 2 player, Windows Live Hotmail, which has 47 million unique visitors. Yahoo Mail still at top with 106 million monthly unique visitors.


  1. Anonymous says

    I do love GMail, I do preferred GMail over Yahoo!, but there are some things that GMail needed to be fixed or updated. For example, more colors for the labels, when delete the messages under “Recently Contacted” should not affect the contact(s) from the “Contacts”, let me break it down for your guys, for example, if I just emailed contact “a”, then the email that I sent to “a” will also appear under “Recently Contacted”, I wanted to remove that message under “Recently Contacted”, but … here’s the thing I really HATED, if I deleted the message under “Recently Contact”, contact “a” will also be deleted off from my “Contacts” list. Let me see, what else, … make the dot (.) counted as a character (like Yahoo!), the group center / community is sort of useless, the staffs from GMail if ever bothered to read the users’ posts/comments. Truths hurt, I know. There are more things that also frustrated me, that’s all I could remembered now, GMail to be still not considered the BEST in email in email network provider according to some. GMail is on the rise, but not the BEST, not there yet, thus far, I haven’t seen any or experienced any email provider(s) that ever met or exceed my expectations yet.

  2. says

    Gmail will do big things in the time to come – it is just a bit ugly at the moment.

    Where are the Google interface designers? Poach some from Microsoft or Yahoo please – the current set are a bit ordinary.

  3. says

    I agree that Gmail is a lot better and easier to use than Hotmail, but nobody has mentioned the userfriendliness of Yahoo when it comes to replying to emails. It is the only client that enables you to click back to the original message without losing your current one! It is so frustrating when replying to an email and you want to refer to the original a message comes up asking “are you sure you want to deviate from this window. Doing so will caus eyou to lose your work” (or words to that effect. To get around this, I have to open up another window, whether it is hotmail or gmail. Surely these guys from hotmail and gmail can come up with a similar ‘tabbed’ facility like Yahoo? It’s brilliant!

  4. JayT says

    Gmail is great. It has HEAPS of storage, it has Google Talk (chat), and its easy to use! When its easy to use, its great for first timers. Gmail is safe. It has a marvellous spam filter. I have a Gmail and Hotmail account. but I dont really use Hotmail. I only have a hotmail account so i could use Windows Live Messenger. 😀 I used to have a Yahoo! Mail account but I got sick of it.

    So overall, Gmail will always get my vote. Try it, its simple.

  5. md says

    Gmail is the best imho.
    But heaps of storage? Yahoo is unlimited storage!
    It takes me 15 years to fill by Gmail box, my girlfriend 10 years.
    by that time it’ll be unlimited for sure. Wonder why Gmail does not make it unlimited now.

  6. Anonymous says

    I’m a gmail pro bigot !! been recommending it for years – however its contact msgment is NOT intuitive and has a few bugs/unenhancements. (?) Just hope/assume it;ll get better – if not then if you use firefox – seems there’s add-ons to fill the gap.

    But basically – free fowarding – foed / filtering – POP – IMap — plus plus – puts it way ahead – plus you get the full screen !!

  7. The Great One says

    I thnk Yahoo Mail is a lot better than Hotmail and Gmail,

    But maybe Gmail may just beat Yahoo, but not yet.

  8. Anonymous says

    In my opinion Yahoo! mail is a lot better than gmail.Hotmail is OK.
    Gmail S*CKS.I hate using gmail.

  9. Anonymous says

    i think yahoo is a lot better than the rest. it is very "user-friendly" and always comes up with innovative services. its spam guard is a lot better than gmail or hotmail. it even offers an extra email address.

    by the way, did anyone try disposable addresses? only yahoo offers it and its simply awesome !!

  10. Anonymous says

    gmail is the best of course yahoo design is too old and complicated hotmail is also very good it is classy and simple but there is no doubt that gmail is the best

  11. Anonymous says

    Gmail is my favorite by far. Hotmail and Yahoo! confuse me, while Gmail is very easy to figure out. Also, I love the experimental "labs" you can use on Gmail to try things out.

  12. Grump3 says

    IMO Gmail is miles ahead & has the better spam filter by far.
    Then Hotmail which often suffers from patchy delivery on forwarding
    The latest free version of Yahoo a poor 3rd, frequently loses mail, pathetic support & it wont even pop or forward without payment for the Plus version.

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