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Gmail vs Hotmail vs Yahoo Mail: Who's on first?


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Google announced this week that it now has 425 million monthly active users. for Gmail, which would put it past the numbers of Microsoft's Hotmail. But are those numbers correct?

As part of its Google I/O conference event this week, Google announced that its Gmail web-based email service now has over 425 million monthly active users. If true, this would be a massive leap over the 350 million Gmail users that Google claimed to have secured during a financial conference call in January.

More importantly, these user numbers would also put Gmail ahead of Hotmail, run by Microsoft, making Gmail the most used web-based email service in the world. In July 2011, Microsoft said that Hotmail had 360 million users. The company has yet to offer an update since then.

But are Google's numbers for Gmail correct? VentureBeat.com reports that according to ComScore, Hotmail is still first with 325 million unique visitors. Yahoo's email service comes in second with 298 million users, and Gmail is in third place 289 million users.

However, ComScore admits those numbers are only for PC users at home and business. Users who access those email services from their smartphone and from Internet cafes are not included in their score. Yahoo and Microsoft said they use ComScore to measure their numbers. Google said it does not comment on numbers generated by third parties.

So who is really on top? With the Android operating system in so many smartphones, and with Gmail included in all Android devices, it's more that possible that Gmail has indeed jumped ahead of Hotmail and Yahoo Mail in terms of users. However, it looks like we will have to take Google's word for it for now.

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Even though I prefer Hotmail myself, doesn't one think Google, who operates gmail itself would be knowing the number of gmail users better than some third party?

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