Amidst rampant media speculation, Google Inc. today announced
it is testing a preview release of Gmail – a free search-based webmail service
with a storage capacity of up to eight billion bits of information, the
equivalent of 500,000 pages of email. Per user.
The inspiration for Gmail came from a Google user complaining about the poor
quality of existing email services, recalled Larry Page, Google co-founder and
president, Products. "She kvetched about spending all her time filing
messages or trying to find them," Page said. "And when she's not doing
that, she has to delete email like crazy to stay under the obligatory four
megabyte limit. So she asked, 'Can't you people fix this?'"
The idea that there could be a better way to handle email caught the attention
of a Google engineer who thought it might be a good "20 percent time"
project. (Google requires engineers to spend a day a week on projects that
interest them, unrelated to their day jobs). Millions of M&Ms later, Gmail
"If a Google user has a problem with email, well, so do we," said
Google co-founder and president of technology, Sergey Brin. "And while
developing Gmail was a bit more complicated than we anticipated, we're pleased
to be able to offer it to the user who asked for it."
Added Page, "Gmail solves all of my communication needs. It's fast and easy
and has all the storage I need. And I can use it from anywhere. I love it!"
Today, a handful of users will begin testing the preview version of Gmail.
Unlike other free webmail services, Gmail is built on the idea that users should
never have to file or delete a message, or struggle to find an email they've
sent or received. Key features of Gmail include:
Search: Built on Google search technology, Gmail enables
people to quickly search every email they've ever sent or received. Using
keywords or advanced search features, Gmail users can find what they need,
when they need it.
Storage: Google believes people should be able to hold
onto their mail forever. That's why Gmail comes with 1,000 megabytes (1
gigabyte) of free storage – more than 100 times what most other free
webmail services offer.
Speed: Gmail makes using email faster and more efficient
by eliminating the need to file messages into folders, and by automatically
organizing individual emails into meaningful "conversations" that
show messages in the context of all the replies sent in response to them.
And it turns annoying spam e-mail messages into the equivalent of canned
According to Page and Brin, Google will make the preview test
version of Gmail available to a small number of email aficionados. With luck,
Gmail will prove popular to them – and to the original user who sparked the
But check the calendar, it's April the 1st. So there is a possibility that this is just a joke, 1000MB of space for your emails is a lot isn't it..
There are no pop-ups or banner ads in Gmail. Gmail does include relevant text ads that are similar to the ads appearing on the right side of Google search results pages. The matching of ads to content is a completely automated process performed by computers using the same technology that powers the Google AdSense program. This technology already places targeted ads on thousands of sites across the web by quickly analyzing the content of pages and determining which ads are most relevant to them. No humans read your email to target the ads, and no email content or other personally identifiable information is ever provided to advertisers.