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Google Aims to Put Free Storage Gigabytes in the Hands of the People

Google Aims to Put Free Storage Gigabytes in the Hands of the People

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 Security News Desk

SYS-CON's Security News desk trawls the world of security for news of software, hardware, products, and services that seems likely to be of interest to infosec professionals and summarizes them for easy assimilation by busy IT managers and staff.

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Most Recent Comments
ashokkumar 05/30/04 08:51:31 AM EDT


ISraEL 04/15/04 03:07:46 PM EDT

google isnt offering a true gigabyte. but hey still 1000 megabytes is hell of a lot more than any other free email service is offering.
1024 bytes make 1 kilobyte
1024 kilobytes make 1 megabyte
1024 megabytes make 1 gigabyte
1024 gigabytes make 1 terabyte
1024 terabytes make 1 petabyte
[URL=http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=how+many+megabytes+in+a+gigabyte]How big gigabyte?[/URL]

billstewart 04/01/04 02:49:07 PM EST

My Outlook mailbox is currently 986MB, mostly powerpoint/word/excel attachments, and that''s _with_ archiving most of it to separate files (and CD-R) every quarter or so, which requires hacking it up into pieces under 700 MB. All in one big binary undocumented file. It''s a dangerous and stupid mail storage approach.

Mebi Byte 04/01/04 01:39:23 PM EST

The Waikato Linux users group says 1,024 KibiBytes. Abbreviated MiB.

Quezzztion 04/01/04 01:36:15 PM EST

As Wow!!! says, 1000 Gigabytes = 1 Terabyte. Can anyone remind me how many gigabytes make a Mebibyte and a Gibibyte respectively?

$2 a Gigabyte? 04/01/04 01:31:52 PM EST

Actually.... .Mac doesn''t offer a 1GB email package. The 1GB iDisk is what costs $350 (it''s much more useful than 1GB of mail, still a ripoff though.) .Mac''s 200MB mail costs $90/year, for the curious.

weave 04/01/04 01:30:26 PM EST

Google estimates costs of storage at about two dollars a gigabyte. Woohoo if true. Maybe Apple will catch a clue and drop the price on their extra dot-mac storage costs. For a gigabyte, they charge $350 a year.

Wow!!! 04/01/04 01:25:10 PM EST

So anyone signing up for 1000 accounts would get a free terabyte storage system. What''s not to like?

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