Apple beefs up .Mac storage limits

Apple joins the space race, expanding storage on its .Mac Internet service in the wake of Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail announcements.

Customers of Apple's .Mac Internet service can hit the Delete button less often, now that the company has boosted the amount of storage it gives subscribers.

Apple computer announced on its Web site on Wednesday that it will increase the amount of space subscribers have for their online file storage and e-mail to 250MB. The company previously gave members 15MB of e-mail storage and 100MB of space in their iDisk, an online storage drive.

Customers of the $99-per-year service can pay an additional $49 to upgrade their storage limit to 1GB.

The move comes as other e-mail providers, including Microsoft and Yahoo, have been increasing limits for those with both paid and free accounts. The move intensified after Google announced its free Gmail service--still in limited testing mode--which offers a gigabyte of space. Apple enthusiast site Spymac Network also offers free e-mail accounts with 1GB of space.

Apple made other changes to its service as well, adding the ability to have additional e-mail aliases and an online tool for spell-checking e-mail. The maximum size of an individual e-mail is also being increased, to 10MB.

The Mac maker had some problems with its e-mail service earlier this week when, for a short time, e-mails for some customers were returned to the sender along with a message that the customer was over the storage limit, though that wasn't the case.

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