Sunday, April 02, 2006

Happy Birthday Gmail

It seems like just yesterday, but yes, two years have gone by. And as I look back these past two years, I can truly say, "Yep, Gmail has beaten the rest."

When Google first talked about Gmail there was quite a bit of skepticism. Would they be able to beat Hotmail and Yahoo? Coming out on April 1st with 1 GB seemed a joke, and we weren't sure whether to carry as part of our spoof articles or as an actual news item. (I was at then.)

1 GB sure got everyone's attention, but a quite a few other email services took up the challenge and matched Gmail's 1 GB. Rediffmail for one offered 1 GB free (you paid for more though). At least I thought they matched Gmail, until I found all my mail deleted because I hadn't accessed my rediffmail account in a month.

It didn't take me very much longer to join to the bandwagon of those willing to sell their kidneys for a Gmail account. Well I was lucky I didn't have to go that far for an account. (thanks to McGun)

In 2005, Gmail celebrated their first year of success with a bash - by adding one more GB. During the last 12 months Gmail has added on so many features to their email service, which two years ago, one would have hardly dreamt possible. You'll find all that Gmail has achieved here. And as for space, it's gone from 1 GB to 2 GB to 2.7 GB and more.

But it's two years down the line and I've already missed Gmail's birthday. I'm a day late. As I thought about this I realized that Gmail is no longer the new kid on the block. Gmail has become a part of us and we've begun to take its existence for granted. Gmail themselves didn't seem to have thrown a party yesterday. If they did, then they've done a pretty good job of cleaning the Internet of all the decorations and leftovers.

Gmail is never going to be as popular as the Google search engine, I mean we'll still say, "I'll email it across" and not "I'll Gmail it across", unlike "just Google it". Gmail is also soon going to have face Microsoft and that will be the next big face off on the Internet. But till then, there's just no good reason for not having a Gmail account.


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