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Lycos Finally Discontinues Its Free Email Service ( 51

Long-time Slashdot reader williamyf writes: You may think of it as the end of an era, or as the final nail in the coffin. Today Lycos, one of the pioneering web portals of the '90s, notified all it's users that "On May 15th, 2018, we will no longer be offering free Lycos Mail accounts." They have been very upfront about the reason:

"Q: Why are you doing this?

A: Providing mailboxes costs us money, and we no longer make enough from ads to support the cost of the mailboxes."

At it's heyday, Lycos was acquired by Terra Networks (a division of Telefonica), then sold to Daum Communications in Korea and then to Ybrant Digital in India. The search engine and other parts (like Angelfire, Tripod and Gamesville) continue working. In the meantime, instructions are provided to download all your mail via POP3 for offline archiving, or to upgrade to Paid Accounts.

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Lycos Finally Discontinues Its Free Email Service

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  • by ArchieBunker ( 132337 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @03:41PM (#56479237) Homepage

    Lycos was still providing email in 2018? They were a good search engine before AltaVista came along.

    • Infoseek all the way.

      I was thinking the same thing. I was shocked when I saw the name. I honestly had to dig deep to even remember who they were.

      Somehow I'm almost tempted to go to their web site and see what they do these days.
      • Metacrawler FTW!

        Was Lycos the one which ran the ads with a dog, where someone would ask something and then you’d hear “Fetch, Lycos!” and the dog would dash off to get the results?

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        M$ was the one that killed infoseek, partnered, pilfered and then executed. Lycos just like hotmail likely run into the same problem, that's the email address I use to accept content I have no interest in. So hotmail for all mail I do not want to recieve, just empty it out once a month and an email address to provide when one is requested, should I have a change of mind about an entity and provide a better email address I will actually pay attention to, I can change it after a trial period. Hotmail for me m

    • Scratch that - reverse it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by deadfwd ( 5374465 )
      Oh the memories. I remember using Excite, AltaVista, Lycos, and Yahoo. You would start at one and search, then pull up the others in different windows and by the time you got back to the first query it was finally finished loading at 2800bps. Those were the days for sure.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Been using this as my main email for years, scared this day would come. Prob gonna have to just pay.

    • They were a good search engine before they tried to be an everything portal. People went there for search results, and so they tried to become the place you could go to for everything and not have to search for anything. Slow to load, intrusive, and tacky. Google did it better by keeping their search clean, other things unobtrusive and selectable in a menu, and allowing people who wanted to find something to get in, search, and get out quickly. If Lycos had followed that model, they could easily have re

  • by koavf ( 1099649 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @03:44PM (#56479251)
    "It's" should be "its".
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I use email at Excite.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A: Providing mailboxes costs us money, and we no longer make enough from ads to support the cost of the mailboxes."

    Ads, or "you're the product". A lesson the "everything should be free" crowd should take to heart.

  • Thought it died long ago.

  • I haven’t seen a since the ‘90s.

  • Already? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Snufu ( 1049644 ) on Saturday April 21, 2018 @05:20PM (#56479677)

    I just finished migrating all my email from Prodigy to Lycos.

  • I had 8675309@mailcity or As of now it is still working but I'm sure it will soon be gone. Oh well.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I once interviewed for Lycos. They were your typical Solaris snobs (if you knew Linux backwards and forwards, that didn't matter one bit because it wasn't the then-very-expensive Solaris). Unpleasant experience. This was when they were still considered a big company (though, looking back, they only had one fairly small building with all of their offices. And this was long before working remotely was common), but this was before Google even existed.

  • Lycos? Was that the dog I first used as a search engine?
  • Lycos was the reason I met my best friend.

    There was a period around 20 years ago when Lycos' search engine was screwed up and would occasionally return someone else's search results to you, which amused me. That happened while I was searching for "taro root" and there was a blog with an interesting name in the results. I wound up reading it and exchanged emails with the blogger and we became best friends. Over 20 years later, we're still close.

  • I don't remember them providing it. :P

  • ...Angelfire is still operating!
  • Nothing says l33t like handing out that address in 2018.

  • by Ambient Sheep ( 458624 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @04:00PM (#56484985)

    ...the option to pay.

    When EE in the UK closed down all the old Freeserve accounts last year, some of them (including mine) going back nearly 20 years, there was no such option. I had to move my entire "real world" emails (banking, bills, credit cards, various insurances, tax, local authorities, shopping, etc.) elsewhere, having to notify around 40 different entities of the change as well as moving all my old emails over.

    To be honest I had been surprised that the service had remained free for so long, and I'd been expecting the inevitable "we now need to charge you £4.99/month" email for years.

    What I didn't expect was closure, given that at one time this was the most popular non-ISP email service in the UK. A complete and utter pain that has ensured I will never use an EE service ever again.

    About the only good thing you can say about it is they did give a LOT of notice... around four months or so. But even so... well you can tell I'm still butthurt!

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser