The Daily Ping

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April 2nd, 2004

Gmail

The biggest anti-joke news to come out of April 1st this year was the announcement of Gmail from Google. The reaction was pretty unanimous: there’s no way Google could give every person who signs up a whole gigabyte of space for mail.

But it’s all true, all real, and probably coming soon.

The idea behind Gmail is a solid one: you should never have to throw your email away. I had a discussion regarding this just a few weeks ago at work, when I mentioned that my computer has all emails I’ve ever sent or received since I bought it, in 2001, fully available in Apple Mail. The reaction varied. A few people thought it was fine, just in case I ever needed to look something up; a couple of others weren’t sure about the value of having over three years’ worth of email instantly available.

I’d position it the same way that Gmail is: it’s very handy just in case. Maybe I need to look up how I repaired my computer’s tiny flaw when I first got it – that’s there. Maybe I need to look up Ryan’s address – that’s there now, too. Or maybe I just want to read the first email my wife and I exchanged. That’s there.

The difference between Gmail and an individual’s mail repository is, of course, that one is always online and the other (usually) isn’t. A lot of people trust Google, since they’ve said from day one that one of their missions is, “Don’t be evil.” I think Gmail will provide a real alternative from the crap that is Hotmail, and the not-so-much-crap that is Yahoo! Mail. Plus, you get a whole gig!

Posted in Technology

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