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Yahoo! is increasing the amount of storage its email subscribers get to fight off the challenge from Google's Gmail service.

From today free email accounts will be increased to 100MB, from 4Mb now. Some people with older accounts have 6MB. Yahoo! Mail Plus users, who pay for the service, will see their inboxes grow to 2GB of storage. Charges will be cut from $29.99 to $19.99 a year.

The move is widely seen as an attempt to fend off the challenge of Google and its Gmail service which will offer users 1000MB. In beta-test. Gmail's revenue is derived from adverts targeted by searching through users' email messages. This has implications for both privacy and security and is hugely controversial.

Yahoo! Mail is also getting a tweaked redesign today. The company is tempting new users, or existing users to sign up to more accounts, by opening up addresses that have been inactive for some time. Yahoo! currently bins email addresses that have been dormant for more than six months. ®

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