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Beta-testing the new Google Mail service

By May 4, 2004web-tech

Someone sent me an invitation to beta-test the new Gmail service from Google. The main benefits are you get a free online E-mail account with 1 GB of storage (yes, that’s one gigabyte!). The whole point is to make your emails something that you simply archive rather than delete. And if you were to archive your E-mails you would often find yourself wanting to search them for key information, which is what makes the “Google” connection here so enticing.

Using Google to search your emails quickly and efficiently makes a lot of sense. You can apply ‘labels’ to your emails, which is better than having folders because you can apply several labels to one email. And there is a built-in spam filter, as well as the ability to create your own filters.

But, nifty features aside, the key benefit is having the ability to Google-search your entire archive of emails. The only price you have to pay for this (as of now) is enduring small, unobtrusive advertisements on the right hand side of your browser window. And they only show up when you search. Even then, unless you look for them you aren’t even going to notice them. Obviously, at some point in the future the ads could become overgrown and brash. But meteors could strike the Earth too.

I’m sure I’ll have more non-incisive observations in the future, but for now I grasp that this E-mail system has a lot going for it.

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