Google introduces Gmail.

For many people, including your favorite Bastard, Google is already the search engine they turn to first when they’re looking to find something. It’s simple, it works exceptionally well, and the little advertising it forces on you is unobtrusive and often relevant to what you’re looking for.

Now the folks at Google are hoping for a similar success with their new web-based email service called Gmail. The fact that this new service is from Google is enough to draw in a lot of people in its own right, but Google isn’t content to leverage their good reputation on its own so they’re going the extra step to provide a full Gigbyte of storage at no cost. By comparison, Hotmail offers a mere 2MB and Yahoo! only a slightly better 4MB.

Google to offer gigabyte of free e-mail | CNET

Google plans to make money from the service by inserting advertisements into messages based in part on their content, effectively extending its AdWords program for presenting contextual ads in Web pages to e-mail.

“The idea is that your mail can stay in there forever,” said Wayne Rosing, vice president of engineering at Google. “You can always index it, always search it, and always find things from the past.”

Gmail enters into testing today with 1,000 invited guests and there’s no word yet on when it will open up to the public at large, but you can sign up to receive more info here.

Update: Speaker managed to dig up this article at Forbes that says Gmail is no joke. Or so say the folks at Google.

18 thoughts on “Google introduces Gmail.

  1. I don’t understand why limits on storage are set at such measely levels. After all, storage is basically free. I read in the NYT today that Google’s internal audit showed that storage costs 2 dollars per GB. Microsoft and Yahoo are just plain ridiculous.

  2. It’s possible that it’s an April Fools joke, but if it is there are a lot of people taking it seriously.

    But one analyst said that Google’s e-mail service should be able to siphon some consumers away from the company’s rivals, given the level of storage and the proposed functionality.

    “There is no doubt that (Google) will be able to take market share from Yahoo and Hotmail,” said Hellen Omwando, an analyst with Cambridge, Mass.-based Forrester Research. “You also have to consider that most people now maintain more than one e-mail address, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see (Gmail) grow quickly.”

    If it turns out to be an April Fools joke then they put a lot of time and effort into it as the page I linked to in the article contains links to a Gmail Terms of Use, a Gmail Program Policies statement, and a Gmail Privacy Policy.

  3. you’re right, that is a lot of work (of course so is what they’re doing at today)
    It might be true, but even though a gig is cheap, imagine how many gigs they’d have to have.  How many servers they’d need.  Pluse people getting multiple accounts or storing stuff serverside like warez etc . . . and not wasting their bandwidth to transfer it to people.  Just a large potential for abuse makes it hard to believe they’d be willing to just offer it.
    If it is true, great, I’ll give it a try but not holding my breath yet…

  4. If it was an Aprils Foool joke would they have put the story out yesterday? That’s when i read it. Also i remember the good old days when Yahoo gave you 6mb of storage. >sniff

  5. Incidentally, Google does have an April Fools joke up: Google Job Opportunities: Google Copernicus Center is hiring.

    I wanna work there.

  6. OK, having looked at the press release directly it does appear there’s a good chance this might be an April Fools joke after all. It’s a doozy if it is.

  7. is now saying they’re going to do the same thing - 1 gig of free email space. Suppose it might become the new standard?


  8. Disks capacities are still around 300G or so? Even if you assume that they oversubscribe disk space, that is still a lot of infrastructure and quite literally real estate.

  9. Hitachi or Toshiba is about to introduce a 400 Gig drive in the very near future. In a NAS device you could quickly rack up some impressive storage.

    Honestly, it’s quite the challenge, but Google also owns what used to be called Deja News (now Google Groups) which is literally an archive of every post made to a USENET newsgroup in the last 20 years or so. For example, if you go there and type in “Les Jenkins” you’ll find posts from back when I used to participate in various USENET groups such as rec.arts.anime from years ago. In fact, the first result is a post I made on June 23, 1998, though not all of the Les Jenkins that turn up are, in fact, me.

    Wow, looking through those results brings back memories and shows how long I’ve been a loud mouth. Here’s a post from November 10th, 1996 in which I was arguing with folks about whether distributing anime fansubs was legal and/or harmful to the U.S. import market that was just getting underway at the time.

    Let’s see if I can find the oldest reference to a USENET post by me using my name… Here it is: This one is from December 21st, 1991 to comp.sys.amiga.misc from back when I was running a BBS on my Amiga and importing USENET and email feeds to it.

    Anyway, if they can store pretty much every post to every USENET group stretching back that far I’d say they have some serious disk arrays already set up and proven to handle ridiculous amounts of data.

  10. Les, that’s just scary.  I don’t know whether to thank you for bringing Google Groups to my attention or not.  I found some of my earliest posts from 1983 there, and incidentally found out that some people were STILL taking my name in vain as late as last year.  (Now I have to hunt them down and pay them, of course.)

  11. California legislator moves to block Gmail

    A California state senator said Monday she was drafting legislation to
    block Google’s free e-mail service “Gmail” because it would place
    advertising in personal messages after searching them for key words.

    “We think it’s an absolute invasion of privacy. It’s like having a
    massive billboard in the middle of your home,” said Sen. Liz Figueroa, a
    Democrat from Fremont, Calif.

    “We are asking them to rethink the whole product,” she said. […]

    Figueroa, who was the author of California’s do-not-call law that allows
    citizens to block telemarketing calls, said she was pursuing the
    legislation because she had not yet received a response to a letter sent
    Thursday to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, in which she
    laid out her concerns.

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