Google’s Gmail has surpassed AOL as the third most visited e-mail service in the U.S. and is poised to pass Windows Live Hotmail in about seven months.
Between July 2008 and July 2009, Gmail’s number of unique monthly visitors in the U.S. increased from 25.3 million to 36.9 million, according to ComScore, via InformationWeek.
With 47.1 million monthly visitors, Windows Live Hotmail is more or less where it was in September 2007, when its monthly visitor share stood at 46.2 million.
If current trends continue, Gmail should surpass Hotmail by the end of February next year and take second place in visitor traffic behind Yahoo Mail.
The release of Windows 7, however, may contribute to renewed interest in Microsoft services like Hotmail and may delay Gmail’s move to second place. If that weren’t enough, system makers like Dell are preloading Windows Live essentials on most consumer and small business PCs.
Yahoo Mail, the leading free e-mail service, has been doing better lately. Its visitor traffic, 106.1 million last month by ComScore’s count, grew at a rate of about 11% in 2008 and at a rate of 22% between July 2008 and July 2009.
You may want to check out these free e-mail clients for Windows 7.