ICQ has already been in the e-mail market for a while now, but it will
start to offer pay e-mail services soon. I used to use their free service
for a while until they took away e-mail forwarding – which they are now
charging to use. Oh well, that is life online, I guess.
ICQ, owned by America Online, will announce the service, which costs $19.99
per year, this week says Ronen Arad, ICQ director of product management.
The service also includes spam filtering and blocking, protection against
viruses and a 20MB ceiling on files sent or received. The service offers a
feature that translates messages into seven languages, the ability to
compress large attachments and WAP (Wireless Access Protocol) support for
access from a mobile device.
The features in this Web mail service make it a real competitor to services
from other providers, such as Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google, whose Gmail
service is still in a beta version.
The ICQ Web mail service also has features available for additional fees.
One such extra-cost feature lets users send e-mail messages to wireless
devices that support SMS (Short Message Service). Another one is a video
e-mail service that can be used by subscribers who have a Webcam attached to
their PCs; the interface has VCR-like controls to record the message, which
recipients in turn can play back without additional software on
Windows-based PCs. [Continued...]