by Mike Masnick

Google Launches Email Service - Tons O' Storage Included

from the as-expected... dept

A few months ago we talked about Google's plans to offer web-based email, and now it appears those plans have been officially announced. While many people seem to be focusing on the similarities between "Gmail" and other web-based email clients, it's much more interesting to focus on the differences, and why Google is doing this. This is clearly not a "me too" product. First off, while most web-based email providers have fairly limited storage capabilities, Google is offering a free gigabyte to every customer, and claiming that they should never need to delete a single message. And, of course, if you have powerful search, you might not ever need to delete a single message since organizing the messages becomes much easier. And, one thing Google has quite a bit of is powerful search. Lots of people have said in the past that they wish they had a "Google for their email" in order to better track down a certain message. Now it looks like Google is providing exactly that. So, what's the catch? They don't say, but my guess is that (as we wrote in the original discussion about Google email) that Google will also look at the contents of your email and try to place contextual advertising alongside your email. If it's true, we should expect people complaining about Google "spying" on their email. There's also no mention, whatsoever, about spam protection. These days, that seems to be the biggest draw of any new email system - so I'm surprised that Google isn't talking about it. The actual Gmail site is down right now, but I imagine it will be up soon. It will also be interesting to see if they take this to the next step. If Google is really trying to be the new interface for the internet and personalizing search, can you imagine doing a Google search that mixes in results from your email and the web at the same time? Update: There's a lot of discussion going around suggesting this is an April Fool's joke. It just might be. If it is, congratulations to the Google team. They've pulled off a great one.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Mike Schwartz, Mar 31st, 2004 @ 5:38pm

    April Fools?

    Here's Google's press release, suspiciously dated "April 1, 2004 UTC". Google's done April Fools Day pranks in the past (PigeonRank), so I'm pretty skeptical. But if it's true, I'll gladly take a gig of their space!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Arun Jacob, Mar 31st, 2004 @ 6:48pm

    Re: April Fools?

    That press release seems too flippant to be for a real product.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 31st, 2004 @ 7:23pm

    Re: April Fools?

    Could be... that would be pretty funny if it was... They would have fooled a lot of people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Phil Ringnalda, Mar 31st, 2004 @ 10:39pm

    Illusion of privacy

    Luckily, Gmail looks to be an offering on a par with PigeonRank, but for a second before I remembered what day it is (or will be shortly), the Google-searching-my-email idea triggered my gag reflex. Yahoo! Search! already has that grey bar at the top of the screen, leering down at my every search, and I always half expect it to switch to "Welcome, philringnalda! Need more results for 'herbal hemorrhoids' or did that clear up?" I think I'll pass on Google greeting me with "Welcome, Phil. I see by your inbox that your girlfriend dumped you, and you don't have a single female friend on Orkut. Would you like to see the top 10 results for 'fleshlight'?"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Janne, Apr 1st, 2004 @ 1:43am

    domain registration

    They have actually registered the domain in sweden:
    *domainname.status: REGISTRERAT
    *domainname.regdate: 2004-04-01
    * NS NS NS NS NS
    *contract_number: 102-725-990
    *status: UPPRATTAT
    *holder: Google Inc
    *orgno: [US]000000-2006
    *contact_info.coaddr: -
    *contact_info.address: -
    *contact_info.zipcode: -
    *contact_info.postal_town: 2400 E Bayshore Pkwy Mountain View CA 94043
    *contact_info.countrycode: US
    *contact_info.phone_no: +16503300100
    *contact_info.fax: +16506188571
    * DNS Admin

    if this is a joke its a very elaborate one!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Mark, Apr 1st, 2004 @ 9:26am

    Joke = funny?

    Google's PigeonRank was a good April Fool's joke because it was funny. They had pictures of pigeons slaving away on computers. Gmail doesn't even qualify as a joke, since there's nothing remotely humorous in the "About Gmail" page.

    If this is an April Fool's joke, the Google staff needs an emergency humor injection. It might be a hoax, but even there it's sadly short in inspiration. It's too dull to be anything but the truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Greg Spira, Apr 1st, 2004 @ 9:35am

    No Subject Given

    I really don't see any reason to believe that this is a joke. They already have an extensive privacy policy for the service. They promise a sophisticated spam filter. They've already established that the revenue model is based on context sensitive text ads. They promise to support POP3 in the future, though they may charge for that. They've established precise rules such as requiring a login in at least once every nine months (or the account will be dissolved).

    I wouldn't be surprised if Google put this out on April 1st to have a little fun with speculation, but an April Fools joke this is not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2004 @ 10:50am

    Re: April Fools?

    here is their real april fools joke. I'm starting to believe this google mail thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    John Carver, Apr 11th, 2004 @ 4:55am

    Re: April Fools?


    Let me introduce ourselves. We are the operators of . On the site you will see a brand new Google Gmail question and answer forum which we intend to build on with membership in the future. We wish to build a team of experts at a forum for this exciting new product.

    John Carver

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Bary, Jan 7th, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    i need mails

    i need indians mails

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.