According to reports from a number of users and websites, Lycos will be ceasing their webmail service permanently in mid February. On February 15th, all hosted accounts and content on the Lycos webmail system within will be deleted.
Soon both dedicated and casual users will find themselves scrambling to salvage any emails worth keeping through whatever means necessary.
In an official statement sent to all users of the webmail service, Lycos stated that while they were looking for a third party provider to continue providing the service, the chances of it happening were doubtful at best. Access to the webmail system will remain the same up until the termination date, however after that time all hosted content and accounts will be eliminated. Once the accounts and hosted content is eliminated, users will be unable to retreive their data. Additionally, no forwarding services will be offered. Users that have a balance which reflects owed services will be reimbursed.
Feedback on the situation from users thus far has been relatively negative. User "Sam" commented at Blogstorm.co.uk with "Bit of a nightmare situation, really. I shall have to trawl through thousands of old messages to forward those I need to keep to another account." He continues "This is hugely problematic as I have used my Lycos account for years, and have sent out hundreds of C.V.s with the account on it."
While this is certainly unfortunate news, webmail services have always been questionable in the end due to their reliance on the stability of privately held companies in almost all circumstances. Sadly, Lycos is perhaps one of the last companies with webmail service that one would expect to eliminate a service so relied upon, especially by European customers. News of the Tripod webmail system shut down comes just after Lycos Europe announced that it had failed to find a buyer, revealing perhaps the desperation of the environment that the company faces.
UPDATE: We have been informed that the elimination of Lycos Tripod webmail services only affects those in the European markets. Lycos will continue to offer Tripod webmail and other services in the US.