The number of serious providers of free webmail services globally is relatively small. Indeed, if you ask most people to name the free webmail service providers they know of, they will only mention about four. Those are the likes of Google (Gmail), Yahoo! Inc. (Yahoo Mail), Microsoft Corporation (Outlook Mail, previously Hotmail), and the lesser well known Germany-based United Internet (the providers of the mail.com service). Yet the free webmail service is one that is potentially very lucrative, when you consider the potential advertising revenues. Thus one has to wonder why the number of free webmail service providers seems to be so limited, notwithstanding the fact that it is a potentially lucrative service to offer. This article explores the possible reasons behind this state of affairs.
Lack of confidence as a possible factor
It seems as if many people/companies are simply not confident enough to venture into the business of providing webmail services. This is, after all, a business where one has to guarantee very high levels of reliability. It is a business where one is entrusted with people’s most sensitive communications. It is a business where one has to guarantee almost 100% uptime. It is a business where one has to guarantee almost 100% security. Many companies feel that they are simply not up to the challenge: hence the phenomenon where the number of free webmail service providers is so limited.
Fear of competition as another possible factor
The companies that offer free webmail services – the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are huge and powerful. Competing against them is not easy. Therefore, it is very likely that potential providers of free webmail services are simply afraid to get into direct competition with these companies. Anyone considering setting up a new webmail service has to ask themselves what more they have to offer that is not being offered by the existing webmail service providers.
Lack of resources as yet another possible factor
One requires quite of bit of muscle to set up a free webmail service. Very powerful servers have to be deployed. Lots of storage space has to be made available. Lots of bandwidth too has to be made available to the users of the service. All these things require massive capital investments. There may therefore be many people who would want to venture into the business of providing free webmail services, but who lack the necessary resources. Therefore the fact that massive resources are necessary in the provision of free webmail services may be yet another reason as to why the number of free webmail service providers is so small.