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Gmail storage ticking up, up and away

Apparently I was the last one to notice this, but Gmail users with nothing better to do can now watch their account storage expand, one thousandth of a byte at a time.

Google, which just doubled the 1GB storage capacity of its free Web-based e-mail service, on April 1 started publishing a ticker on the Gmail sign-in page that shows the amount of storage continuing to expand.

If you're logged in persistently, you'll never see this little ticker, reminiscent of the old National Debt Clock near Times Square in New York.

At the moment before this sentence was written, storage had reached 2089.540896 MB.

Google disrupted the free, Web-based e-mail market with the introduction of Gmail a year ago, rendering farcical the 2MB-to-6MB free storage offerings of competitors. Those sites used to be able to credibly charge subscription fees for amounts like 20 MB and 100 MB.

Yahoo Mail and Microsoft's Hotmail responded by shifting their free storage capacities a few decimal places to the left. Could it be said that those services now run the risk of ticker shock?