Google Mail *IS* coming! And it looks too darn hot!

It’s too funny… this week when checking the headlines every day i keep bouncing into new Google stuff that i wrote about in this blog as ideas, brainstorms or possibilities. And it all still comes down to one thing: personalized services.

I created a new category on this blog and put all the related entries into it so that my brainstorming and ideas are all in one place without having to link to previous entries all the time.

Today’s relevant bit of news:
Google Gets the Message, Launches Gmail
See my previous entry: Googlemail coming up soon? (Jan 18, 2004)

Looking at the gmail pages, i have to say i am THRILLED about this feature, as a user.

Here is an initial and partial list of its features:

  • free
  • 1 gigabyte of storage (not a typo)
  • based on Google search technology ( no need to file messages)
  • thread of conversation displayed along with message automatically
  • no pop-ups or banner ads (but Google contextual text ads) (!)
  • labeling, filtering
  • spam filtering AND reporting
  • “Your email should never be held hostage by a service provider. In the future you will be able to access Gmail messages from non-Gmail accounts for free or at a nominal fee.”

From this list, it’s very evident that Google looked at the problem of emailing from the right angle: from the viewpoint of POWER USERS. Any email service i have seen so far, including the upgraded versions of the most popular ones (Hotmail, Yahoo, etc) was clearly developed with these ocassional or moderated users in mind and so they were on the border of being unusable for people who receive hundreds of messages each week (or day?).

For ocassional emailers current email services offer everything they would ever want from an email service. For power users however, current email services seriously lack features and are more of a block to communications than enablers. And with email, power users are not the top 1% of users… (it would be interesting to see stats on this btw, internet users grouped by volume of mail received/sent)

So, I can’t wait to start using it and seeing it in action.

Plus, i LOVE the logo. It’s simple but powerfully conveys the message and is still fully in line with the main Google logo. Bravo to the designer!

I will write more about my take on Gmail’s significance in personalized search later this weekend…

UPDATE:
A screenshot (on Google’s server, no less), and the blog post Gmail is real from the UI designer at Google offer more insight into Gmail. (Found via John Battelle

Also, over lunch i realised something regarding spam reporting: in the Gmail FAQ they say they will have spam filtering AND reporting, sending spam to Google cops who will hopefully actually do something about it. Imagine for a second: with the amount of email that will go through Gmail, virtually all of the world’s spam will be landing in Gmail accounts, and reported to the Google spam repository.

If they get this right, they can integrate the email spam repository with web and all kinds of other spam, ridding the Internet of most of the current spam effectively (e.g. analyze spam content and kick spammers out of the Google index). Of course this also sounds very much like utopia, but i wouldn’t be surprised if the Google PhD bunch managed to pull this off.

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