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Software

Hotmail slip improves members' memory

Who wants 2GB of e-mail storage? Some customers to free Hotmail were inadvertently upgraded, but Microsoft soon pulled the plug.

What a difference a few zeroes make.

Some new users of Microsoft's Hotmail on Wednesday got a pleasant surprise when they received 2 gigabytes of storage upon registering for the popular free e-mail service. That's a thousand times more than the 2 megabytes that new users should be getting.

Microsoft confirmed on Thursday that some free e-mailers were given the wrong amount of storage and that 2MB is the correct amount, claiming the matter was caused by an "error." The software giant that day was busy upgrading its paid users to 2GB, which costs $19.95 a year, and some of those perks slipped into free accounts.

"When rolling out 2GB of storage, it inadvertently went over to free users as well," a Microsoft representative said.

Unfortunately for those benefiting from the error, Microsoft plans to revert these free accounts back to 2MB. However, free Hotmail users will get their own storage boost later this summer or early fall when the company increases their memory limits to 250MB.

E-mail storage has become a hot topic over the past few months. It all began when Google announced its intention to launch its own free e-mail service, called Gmail, that would give every user 1GB of storage. The move sent shockwaves across the industry, causing its fiercest rivals to follow suit.

In June, Yahoo responded when it upgraded its own e-mail storage by boosting free accounts to 100MB and paid users to 2GB. A week later, Microsoft took it a step further with the announcement of its 250MB and 2GB plans.

Microsoft is not the first to stumble in revamping its e-mail service. In May, some Gmail users noticed their storage limits had skyrocketed to 1,000GB, or 1 million megabytes of memory. Google soon fixed the glitch and restored its 1GB limit.