Take me for example – I was getting worried when I had about 600 Meg of archival emails, in about 4 months! What would I do when it filled up? And then they raised the limit. Talk about lock-in!
GMail is essential different from all other Google services, in that they are storing personal and private information. It cannot have escaped Google that they could decide from one day to the next to start charging for this. It could be very modest. $1 per month? $5.95 per month?
Yes there would be the usual self-righteous outcry from the entitlement crowd, but I bet perhaps in 6 or 12 months the number of defections wouldn’t be proportionally, that high. And the amount of revenue would be incredible!