Feeds

Postmaster kills off 'free for life' webmail

UK stalwart says it's a big boys' game now

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Postmaster will shutter its free webmail service from the middle of next month because it has been unable to win enough advertising revenue.

The service, which launched in 1996 and was Europe's first free webmail offering, used to be advertised as "free for life" by former owner Bibliotech. From August 14 users will have to pay £14.99 per year to maintain their accounts.

Tim Conroy, MD of Spider Networks, which now operates the service, said the decision had to be made on purely economic grounds. He said: "Advertising revenues have plummeted. One or two advertisers promised the world and didn't deliver."

The firm is pitching its new paid-for Postmaster as faster and more reliable.

Spider Networks expects to lose many of Postmaster's tens of thousands of users of the free services before the 60 day notice period is up. Conroy said his technical team are examining if it's feasible to offer an IMAP server to ease migration of email archives to new providers.

Angry punters have attacked the decision in Postmaster's customer forums.

"I would love to be able to continue to support people for free...if I can persuade some customers to stay and pay it makes more sense for me to use the infrastructure for different things," Conroy said. Spider Networks is pushing into education network provision.

Offering ad-supported webmail is now a game for the likes of Google and Yahoo!, he added.®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.