Microsoft increased the mailbox storage capacity for users of its hosted business productivity online suite (BPOS) of applications.
Mailboxes have expanded from 5 GB to 25 GB at no extra cost to BPOS and Exchange online users, according to an announcement issued by Microsoft on Wednesday. The mailbox storage capacity boost was hinted at last month in a talk by Kayvaan Ghassemieh, a senior technical product manager for Microsoft Online Services.
Ghassemieh said that the next BPOS updates to expect include the addition of single sign-on capability and a fix for calendar coexistence in hybrid deployments. Microsoft issues its BPOS updates every six to eight weeks, he explained.
The new boosted mailbox storage capacity brings Microsoft up to speed with Google, which offers the same 25 GB mailbox storage capacity as part of its Gmail and Google Apps services. Google Apps Premier service for businesses includes hosted e-mail, calendar and Office-like applications for $50 per user per year.
IBM lists a paltry storage capacity of 1 GB for its LotusLive Notes e-mail service offering, which costs $9 per user per month.
Microsoft boasts of offering Exchange online, SharePoint online and Office Communications online as part of its BPOS offering for $10 per user per month. In addition, Live Meeting Standard is included in the suite, which can support 250 non-BPOS users for Webinars, according to a Microsoft blog.
Hosted E-mail may prove to be one of the top software-as-a-service applications adopted by businesses because of scalability issues, including limited e-mail server storage space on premises. According to a prediction made in April by analyst firm Gartner, about 20 percent of the business market will use software-as-a-service for e-mail by the end of 2012.