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What is so exciting about GMail?

I see a lot of posts about GMail, either people offering GMail invitations, or others who look happy to have gotten one. I just don't get why there is so much excitation about a free webmail service with 1 Gb storage. May be someone can tell me?


Geoff Appleby said:

There's two reasons (at least that i can see).

1) Get in early, and you get a decent email address. No need for

2) The mail interface is nice and simple and quick, and messages get threaded like it does for newsgroup posts. This makes it very beneficial for things like mailing lists.

I've never been a fan of things like hotmail and yahoo's webmail, because i don't like the interfaces, and there's too much graphics to make it very quick.
# August 30, 2004 12:23 AM

Jon Galloway said:

I was first interested by the 1GB size - I'm an e-mail packrat - but I'm very impressed by the user interface. It uses a remote scripting type approach so it's very responsive, and the keyboard shortcuts and accelerators work very well. It's way ahead of the other major web e-mail systems in usability.
# August 30, 2004 1:29 AM

Jeff Gonzalez said:

How about being able to search your email using Google's search engine? I guess lookout is pretty competent as well.
# August 30, 2004 1:36 AM

Scott said:

All the "cool" kids are doing it. I hear they're smoking and drinking too so I'm trying that tonight!
# August 30, 2004 1:43 AM

Lorenzo Barbieri said:

The web interface, the conversations, the labels, everything in the usability simply rocks...
Yo've to try it... It's the most usable web site I've ever seen....
# August 30, 2004 2:28 AM

Mikhail Arkhipov (MSFT) said:

I don't get it either. Get your own domain with a lot of space for a few bucks a months.

Call me paranoid, but I don't like anybody searching my email anyway.
# August 30, 2004 2:39 AM (Oleg Tkachenko) said:

One more free (ad-ware in RTM) web mail with no POP3/IMAP access. No big deal. But getting accounts by ivitation only is a nice marketing move - people love to be privileged. I believe that's the main reason about the buzz.
Oh, and account names are limited to 6 letters min, so you can't get really cool name, even so early :)
# August 30, 2004 2:53 AM

Frans Bouma said:

I'm with Mikhail. I also don't see the urge for an online emailaccount which has a lot of diskspace you probably will never use.

And searching emails? The exchange box here is pretty good at that, outlook is also doing great on normal boxes. (true it takes a while but do you archive that much email from friends? If it's business email, you can pay for a proper tool as well, and you don't want business email in a gmail account, do you? ;))
# August 30, 2004 3:31 AM

Jamie said:

The very responsive interface, the keyboard shortcuts, lack of any (other than one logo) graphics to slow the page load, the threading of messages, the amount of space, and again the interface.

I find I use it more and more, while its not suitable for business use (I think a lot of places are unconvinced about the security of sending confidential stuff to a gmail account), its excellent for personal use, and mailing lists become something far more usable with gmail.
# August 30, 2004 6:54 AM

Aaron said:

I love having access to my e-mail anywhere (but I can have that with any webmail provider). I love having a gig of storage (but I can have that a couple other places). To me, the big things are the fast, clean interface and the Google search engine for my mail.
# August 30, 2004 10:42 AM

Miguel de Icaza said:

A few things are great about gmail: its web interface is the slickest one out there and through some very clever work its extremely responsive, the page hardly feels like "reloading" and you can control everything with the keyboard.

Then comes style: it feels like google, it feels like a tool I want to use. Simple, uncluttered, to the point, well thought out.

But even more, Google has gained a reputation for clean user interfaces, simplicity and doing the right thing. That culture shows strongly on GMail.

Finally, Google's reputation and the aura of direction from its founders give me warm feelings, like someone else pointed out, you do not feel like this is a bait and they will later switch it. Today me and others trust Google.

# August 30, 2004 10:45 AM

Miguel de Icaza said:

I forgot: there is also a programmatic interface to Google (libgmail).

And some clever hacks have been implemented, like a GMail file system for Linux ;-)

You can "mount" your remote e-mail account as a file-system, it cant get more exciting than this

# August 30, 2004 10:46 AM

Evain Jb said:

Maybe it is possible to compiles libgmail using IronPython.

Should be one thing to try one day or another.

# August 30, 2004 11:36 AM

Christophe Lauer said:

Well, since you all seem to be very advised about GMail, and thanks to Jb Evain who invited me, I've decided to give it a try.

To be honnest, if I agree that it's cool to be able to access your email from anywhere with only a browser and an internet connection, I use to prefer the "old style" of having my emails locally on my machine.

But to be completely honnest, this could quickly change when WiFi hot spots will begin to spread, and when I will be able to connect to the internet through my customer's network when I'm visiting them.

True that for a non professional use, GMail has some interesting features, from what I read in your comments. May be the one that has excited me most was Miguel mentionning this libgmail that allow to mount one's mail account as a file system.

From the comment of Steve jobs (but I cannot believe that he is the real Steve Jobs), I agree that it's also a good opportunity to have a fresh start with a new email address.

I use to have an hotmail account that I opened years ago, before Hotmail was acquired my Microsoft, and this 7 letters account only receives smap. I do not use it anymore, except as a Passport account for MSN Messenger.

I've just created the account, so, let me play with it and get used to it before I can give you my first opinions on it.

And thanks again to Jb Evain for the invitation ;)
# August 30, 2004 11:59 AM

Daniel Auger said:

I'll echo the other comments in saying that the user interface is slick and fast. One of the other reasons I prefer it is that I can use it at work without the fear of someone complaining about the hotmail banner ads that usually feature scantily clad ladies.
# August 30, 2004 12:36 PM

Alex Moskalyuk said:

For me it's
1) Threads for conversations instead of Re:Re:Re: subjects.
2) Clean interface, minimal ads, not in-your-face Hotmail/Yahoo style of FIND A DATE RIGHT NOW
3) Storage. People tend to say you'll never use it, but yesterday I needed an 8 MB file transferred quickly, and I just told the guy to send it to my Gmail account, instead of going through ftp/online storage options.
# August 30, 2004 2:08 PM

Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu said:

That you have to ask places you squarely in the "not cool" section. This was definitely an inquiry that should have remained discreet.
# August 30, 2004 2:13 PM

Christophe Lauer said:

I don't get what's not cool in asking when you don't know.
# August 30, 2004 2:29 PM

Fabrice said:

This is probably due to the same thing that made everybody (but me) have a hotmail account: it is so hyped it must be wonderful...
Marketing done for free by others is really great. When your friends and family and dog convince you to use something you don't need, guess where the money goes in the end.
Sheeps are everywhere...
# September 1, 2004 9:29 PM

Christophe Lauer said:

Hey Fabrice, joining the sheeps I now have a GMail account. So far, I haven't had enough time to test it, and I still do not receive enough traffic on this address to see the benefits, but as Rudi says, time will tell.
# September 3, 2004 12:58 PM

Alexis MP said:

I've been using gmail for a while and agree with all the things that have been written in the comments here. I just wonder what's going to happen when this service goes "public" (i.e. it's still in beta...).
I don't want to be trapped into gmail (can't export mailbox, can't use a rich client, can't or forward to another email address).
# September 6, 2004 6:02 AM

... said:

Dies ist ein gro�er Ort. Ich m�chte hier noch einmal.

# March 9, 2009 7:52 AM