Google email service overtakes Hotmail as the most widely used web-based email in the world.

Like many people, when I heard Google was slowly rolling out an email system to a select few people in 2004, I was skeptical. I thought it was just a search engine? Why do we need another email service, and why are they being such jerks about needed to be invited in it? But then my friends got invited, and they couldn’t stop gushing about Gmail. When I tried it myself, I never went back, and it seems I’m not alone. This month, Gmail overtook its largest competitor in Microsoft’s Hotmail and now reigns as the most widely used email service in the world.

Google actually announced it was leading the world earlier this year based on its own calculations. “Gmail, which launched in 2004, has evolved from a simple email service to the primary mode of communication for more than 425 million active users globally,” read a post on Google’s official blog.

Third-party numbers didn’t match that estimate though, until late last month when the internet analytics company Comscore reported 287.9 million unique users of Gmail beating out the 286.2 million for Hotmail.

Oddly enough, Gmail didn’t win United States users; global third place holder Yahoo! Mail still owns a market share in America with a 76.7 million users topping Gmail’s domestic population of 69.1 million. Still, Hotmail only has 35.5 million users in the US, so it seems people stateside do not prefer Microsoft’s webmail service.

Microsoft’s troubles with getting email numbers may be a messaging issue. The Redmond, WA-based company announced this summer and it plans for that outlet to become Microsoft’s flagship email service going forward. The Comscore numbers don’t include people currently using so perhaps Microsoft still has an edge over Gmail.

Source: Gigaom


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