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Yahoo! delivers premium e-mail service

Yahoo! has unveiled a premium version of its e-mail service that combines its existing paid-for offerings, such as extra storage, access to other e-mail accounts and forwarding capabilities, with anti-spam tools and the ability to send larger attachments.

Yahoo! Mail Plus is just the latest in the company's free-to-fee strategy, and costs $29.99 (£19) a year.

The company said that its e-mail subscribers have jumped from one million to "tens of millions" since the service launched five years ago and the premium offering comes in response to users' expanded needs.

Yahoo! Mail Plus offers 25Mbytes of e-mail storage, a message size limit of 10Mbytes and the ability to send up to 10 attachments per e-mail. Additionally, the service can archive messages to users' hard drives for offline access, and offers the ability to send messages using other e-mail domains.

The company has also added anti-spam tools, including filters and the ability to block e-mail addresses.

Yahoo! rolled in existing premium offerings, such as Post Office Protocol (POP) access and e-mail forwarding. Yahoo! placed fees on these services earlier this year in a move to shore up revenue. POP is the standard for sending e-mail from an Internet server that allows users to forward and receive e-mail from different accounts. Other e-mail services, such as Microsoft's Hotmail offering, have also put a price on POP this year.

Unlike its free mail service, Yahoo! said the premium offering does not add promotional taglines to messages and there is no account expiration.

Yahoo!'s move to further its premium offerings comes as the company struggles to swim upstream in a down market, yet the company has been able to keep afloat with new pay-for services, beating expectations in its third-quarter results.

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