What's inside your Web mail?

Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google offer dynamic e-mail services. Here's what to know before you pick one.

We've clicked our fingertips nearly to the bone checking hundreds of e-mail messages and slaying spam in three different in-boxes. You'll find the fruit of our labors in this XXXL-size chart showing what's inside of Yahoo Mail beta, Windows Live Hotmail, and Gmail beta.

Microsoft released the new Windows Live Hotmail this week, but Gmail and Yahoo Mail remain in beta testing. What to choose? You can afford to be fickle since each free service offers similar features, with new goodies rolling out nearly each month. Each brand will import your contacts from elsewhere, in case you want to switch.

If you want an in-box shared by others in the in crowd, then Yahoo wins the world's popularity contest. But more yuppies--I mean, young adults who earn between $100,000 and $149,000--tend to use Gmail, according to research by Hitwise. Gmail users also seem to be fans of Facebook. Still, in all other income groups--including the $150,000+ range--Yahoo is more popular. Gmail's fast-growing popularity still trails that of Yahoo Mail and runner-up Hotmail.

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