Internet media company Yahoo Inc. says it will remove storage limits on its free web-based e-mail service starting in May.

The latest salvo in the battle for eyeballs would give users of Yahoo's ad-supported service the greatest storage capacity among webmail offerings.

Lycos Inc. gives users three gigabytes of storage andGoogle Inc.'s Gmail offers about 2.8 GB.Microsoft Corp. grants two gigabytes of space on its Windows Live Mail while its Hotmail offering gives users one gigabyte.

Yahoo will not remove the current one-gigabyte cap on its webmail all at once, John Kremer, vice- president of Yahoo Mail, said in a written statement Tuesday.

"As much as we'd like to just flip a switch and 'unlimit' everyone on the same day, we'll be rolling this out over a few months to facilitate a smooth transition," he said.

Yahoo launched its free e-mail service in 1997 with four megabytes of storage.