Google has created a free searchable Webmail service called Gmail.

Gmail offers a storage capacity of up to 1GB – the equivalent of 500,000 pages of email for each user.

A Google spokesperson said: "Gmail is part of our mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."

The company added: "Email users should never have to file or delete a message, or struggle to find an email they've sent or received. Users should be able to hold on to their email forever, hence the 1GB of free storage – more than 100 times what most other free webmail services offer."

The backbone of Gmail is the Google search engine. It is able to recall any message an account owner has sent or received. When Gmail displays an email it automatically shows all the replies to that email as well, so users can view a message in the context of a conversation.

As with the Google search engine, there will be no pop-ups or banner ads.

The inspiration for Gmail came from a Google user who was dissatisfied with existing email services. Google co-founder and president Larry Page said: "She complained about spending all her time filing messages or trying to find emails. And when she's not doing that, she has to delete email like crazy to stay under the obligatory 4MB limit."

A preview version of Gmail will be made available to a small number of email aficionados today for testing.

Envoy Envy In related news, Internet intelligence company Digital Envoy is suing Google for allegedly using its geo-location technology to improperly place advertisements on third-party Web sites.

According to Digital Envoy attorney Timothy Kratz, a license between the two companies restricts Google from using the technology for purposes other than search and from using it on other web sites, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Kratz added: "Last year, Google got in the business of advertising. When they did that, they took our technology with them... They've been making money on it. We haven't."