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Hotmail users get a storage bump

Microsoft ups standard mail accounts to 5GB, while paid users get 10GB worth of storage.

Microsoft on Monday made a series of updates to its Windows Live Hotmail service, chief among those being an increase in the size of its inboxes. Standard users now get 5GB of storage, while paid MSN Premium and Hotmail Plus accounts now get 10GB of storage.

The move follows Yahoo's decision to offer its mail customers unlimited storage. Google's Gmail currently touts 2.89GB worth of free storage for its accounts. Apple also recently upped its .Mac storage limit to 10GB, split between mail and file storage.

In addition, Microsoft said Windows Live Hotmail is also adding the ability to accept and decline meeting requests from Outlook accounts, as well as a tool for eliminating duplicate contacts and an easier way to switch to Hotmail from other mail services.

Responding to complaints from users and gripes in the blogosphere, Microsoft is also bringing back the option to choose to see one's inbox, rather than a Today page of MSN News, upon login.

"We already did a ton of work to get the basics ready to get out of beta, so now we've been able to add some more of the extras that our more advanced users have been asking for," program manager Ellie Powers-Boyle said in a blog posting. "We're continuing to collect feedback and using it to guide which areas of the product to improve next."

The company promised more changes in the coming months.