Gmail expected to overtake Hotmail in seven months

Google has been offering its Gmail web-based email service for quite a few years now. The service has proven to be very popular with users and has grabbed a significant portion of the market despite the fact that Gmail only recently graduated from beta status.

InformationWeek reports that Gmail has passed AOL to become the third most popular email service online. According to ComScore Gmail grew its monthly visitors in the U.S. from 25.3 million in July 2008 to 36.9 million in July 2009.

The growth rate for the Gmail service from July 2008 to July 2009 has increased dramatically as well with the Google service growing at 46% this year compared to 39% in 2008. AOL on the other hand has seen its monthly visitors decline in the same period from 45.1 million in July 2008 to 36.4 million in July 2009.

If Gmail continues to grow at its current rate, it is expected to pass Windows Live Hotmail in about seven months. Hotmail currently has 47.1 million visitors and is basically stagnant at this time. Between September 2007 and September 2008, the service lost 4% of its total visitors and between July 2008 and July 2009, the service grew a modest 3%.

InformationWeek points out that when Windows 7 launches there could be an increased adoption of Hotmail which would prevent or delay Gmail from overtaking it for second place overall. The top free email service online is Yahoo Mail with 106.1 million visitors last month and a growth rate of about 11% in 2008 and 22% between July 2008 and July 2009.

"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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