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Forget E-Mail, Free Google-Mail Arrives: "G-Mail" Is Born

Forget E-Mail, Free Google-Mail Arrives: "G-Mail" Is Born

  • Read today's follow-up story:
    The i-Technology World Remains Giga-Baffled By Google's "Gmail"


    It may not be certain any longer whether or not Google will complete an IPO this year, but it now looks certain to be entering the free e-mail market.

    Offering better anti-spam software than Yahoo Mail and Hotmail and other rivals, and throwing in 1GB of storage, Google is aiming - once the preview has been tweaked - to launch "Gmail" later this year.

    "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," Larry Page, Google co-founder and president, told the Financial Times (FT).

    The FT comments:

    "This is Google's latest step in its push away from being a mere search engine towards taking on the world's biggest Internet portals, following moves into news and Froogle, a comparative shopping tool."

    The preview registration for GMail is here.

    "If a Google user has a problem with e-mail, 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."

    CNN.com comments:

    "Put in real-world terms, Gmail's one gigabyte of free storage could hold the equivalent of a pick-up truck filled with books, where Yahoo's four free megabytes could not quite handle the complete works of William Shakespeare."

    The Sydney Morning Herald, in Sydney, Australia, where it's already April 2, reports:

    But there's a catch to the new service announced today - Google's computers will scan emails to deliver targeted advertising.

    NBC's Channel 13 joins the speculation:

    "Google has long exhibited a quirky sense of humor about itself and its technology. One example of this is Pigeon Rank, a page on Google, which claims its search results are compiled using large numbers of trained pigeons. Then there is the recent job listing for the Google Copernicus Center, which claims the company is hiring staff for a new lunar hosting and research center, to be opened in 2007.

    Skeptics also note that the press release announcing the service on Business Wire is dated March 31 at 7:05 p.m., which is also just past midnight GMT."

    So far, Google has been declining to comment further on Gmail, referring all questions to the company's official press release announcing the service.

    Among the clues that awake suspicion in many, though, is this, from the Gmail FAQ (italics ours):

    Is Gmail available in other languages?

    During this testing period, the Gmail interface is only available in English. However, we're committed to making Gmail available to as many people in as many languages as possible. And Gmail accounts can already be used to read and send email in most languages (even Klingon).


    Nonetheless Reuters is reporting Google's vice president of products, Jonathan Rosenberg, as saying:

    "Gmail is not a hoax...We are very serious about Gmail."

  • More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

    Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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    Most Recent Comments
    Denise Rodda 04/07/05 08:34:15 AM EDT

    You guys are geniuses. You're taking e-mail to a whole new level. 2 Gigs of storage?!?! Oh yeah! Can't wait to get in on that. I anticipate a future cost for the service, keep us posted.....

    Ronald coupe 04/04/05 12:56:28 AM EDT

    You emil download site is confused.
    Try for an hous to simply download Gmail.....NO SUCCESS.
    No idea how you work.
    Gave up.

    Raymond Hilerio 03/01/05 08:18:44 PM EST

    Why can't I get a gmail address? I have a friend in New Jersey who has.

    ahmed 11/14/04 12:02:07 PM EST

    hey thiz iz a request from me if any one has a gmail invite please send it to me i need it if u give 1 g mail invite to me god will give u thousands to u send me an invite on [email protected] as soon as possible

    Mohammed Anas Aadil. Tangulwadi 09/27/04 09:19:18 AM EDT

    I want to become a user of Google mail

    dawonn 04/24/04 03:22:41 AM EDT

    I also have a beta account. It isn't a joke, they are serious about it. if they can get the privacy groups happy...

    I like the addwords accually, they are helpfull when they work, and I even have fournd some good sites via the program.

    Being it is beta, to only feture is teh storage. It stipped down naked right now.

    sam eatherly 04/23/04 02:40:20 PM EDT

    BRING IT ON!! CANT WAIT TO GET OFF HOTMAIL.

    John 04/19/04 04:14:14 PM EDT

    I've been beta testing GMail for Google. It's only by invite for now.

    Scott Wilson 04/19/04 01:13:10 PM EDT

    Well, after waiting 15+ days and still not up, seemed too good to be true to start with. Must have been a sad April Fools Day prank!!!!!

    Rolf 04/17/04 06:27:12 AM EDT

    Very scary! From a dataprotection stand point of view! If I use G-Mail and I agree to the terms of usage, then I agree that the mail I send and receive will get scanned; but what about people, who send me e-mails and they don''t agree to getting their e-mails scanned? I would not feel comfortable at all sending a private e-mail to a friend knowing he uses G-Mail, because I know, my e-mail won''t be private any more... VERY SCARY!!!

    Jason 04/05/04 01:31:06 PM EDT

    I think that g-mail will be great!! But when is it coming out to the public t be used??

    john 04/03/04 11:47:12 PM EST

    There is a commericial playing on HBO for G-Mail at 3:00 am everyday next week.

    Scott Wilson 04/03/04 07:47:29 AM EST

    Umm, "GMail"... I use MSN9 and have had tons of problems. There support sucks, if this is real (1April press release) I will be the first one at the door. Relyablity and support is where I will be looking. Take note apathetic MSN!

    David 04/02/04 01:01:08 PM EST

    It''s so sad that people who pay lots of money to get rid of spam are now going to join a "free" service that analyzes your email contents to deliver more ads to you.

    What a loser. But then, I suppose poor people need something, so while no business person would ever consider such rubbish, it does allow tricksters, hackers, fraudsters, criminals, pedophiles and others to hide behind yet another anonymous email system.

    Go crime! Go fraud! Go spam! Go to heck...

    DieHotMail 04/02/04 12:41:02 AM EST

    Time for Microsoft to stop bullying consumers. Nowaday, I use hotmail as my spam prone email address. No longer I will use it as my main email address because they constantly bullying me into paying them.

    kj 04/01/04 04:04:05 PM EST

    i think it could be very well true. becaue now they have reconfirmed that.

    Paul 04/01/04 02:32:53 PM EST

    I have yet to find solid evidence that it is a hoax. The Klingon reference is real. Google search provides many interfaces using real and virtual languages, Klingon is one of them (http://www.google.com/intl/xx-klingon/). Naturally, Google will provide a similar interface for email management. The Klingon language is a full-fledged invention, not just for entertainment in Star Trek. Go to http://www.kli.org/ for more info. http://www.kli.org/tlh/phrases.html has common phrases in Klingon.

    June 04/01/04 01:44:25 PM EST

    I would like to try it as I love Google and trest it!

    SEE 04/01/04 12:58:54 PM EST

    Well, from the press release:

    "April 1, 2004 UTC"

    "And it turns annoying spam e-mail messages into the equivalent of canned meat."

    That the news services fell for this with that kind of giveaway line is priceless.

    hannisen 04/01/04 12:26:53 PM EST

    The press release states, and I quote, "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". Sure, that statement is correct, but it''s also more than 500 times more than Hotmail, and companies usually state the biggest difference between them and the "other guys". Things like this makes me feel like it''s just a hoax. I promise I won''t be sad or angry if I''m proven wrong though.

    Oh, and a final note, something that''s published on major news sites and/or printed in major newspapers doesn''t have to be true. It has happened before, it WILL happen again.

    nmg196 04/01/04 10:43:16 AM EST

    I don''t think it is an April fool - it''s a very good idea.

    It would probably be an April Fool if it claimed anywhere that the final service was going to be free - but it doesn''t. The 1GB storage might cost a fortune when the beta ends.

    I think it''s a very good idea.

    Tony-A 04/01/04 10:40:35 AM EST

    The real prank is if the April Fool''s joke turns out to be real.
    I know there have been a few times when I would have dearly loved to be able to Google my filed correspondence

    Marcio Conceicao 04/01/04 09:07:47 AM EST

    Really nice!

    That's more one vehicle for google put their ads ;)

    Duminda A. 04/01/04 09:05:08 AM EST

    Smacks of April''s Fool...unlikely Google can give x500 times the storage capacity of Hotmail for free. Economics doesn''t work that way. Also Google Press Release was tongue in cheek..."millions of M&Ms later," "April 1, UTC" etc.

    Phil B. 04/01/04 08:54:14 AM EST

    1 Gig *per user*?? I know storage is cheap and compression is effective, but 1 *Gig*? Smells fishy.

    Charlie S. 04/01/04 08:26:43 AM EST

    G-mail, huh? Hmm. This "G-mail" announcement by Google took place on April Fool's Day. I wonder...