Swaroop C H

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GMail out of beta soon

24 Mar 2005

Charlene Li (of Forrester Research) claims that Y! Mail has upped the storage to 1 GB to match GMail and combining that observation with the recent increase of invites count to 50 for all GMail users, it is a sign that GMail is soon coming out of beta!

Holy smokes, that is tempting - a non-beta stable GMail. I can think of a few things I'd like to see in GMail:

If they can implement these things, I'm hooked!

Also, I'm waiting to see a face-lift to Yahoo! Mail as well. Whatever happened to the supposed Oddpost integration? Sigh.

P.S. If you are wondering why I seemed to rant about the 'innovative' part in my previous post... well, it's just that I'm tired of the Google orgasm that the world is in today. Yes, Google rocks and does great stuff. Let's not forget other companies do great stuff as well. For example, MSN Image Search seems to be better than the competitors out there.

Update: Will GMessenger come out on April 1st (like GMail last year) ?

Comments

Swaroop C H says:

Yes, I was expecting lot of things as well but it has been almost 9 months since the Oddpost acquisition, that's a really really bad sign :(

Regarding GMail uptime, totally agree with you there! I admit I forgot to put that as part of my list but I expect "going out of beta" implicitly mean "very little downtime service" as well. This is the single biggest reason why I am still sticking with Yahoo! Mail. Search engines or browsers can be easily switched but email is very sticky especially online accounts.

Aggelos says:

I'm tired too of this Google-madness. And the thing is I was never a fan of any of their services.

Pradeep says:

Google Orgasm
Hmmm.. nice phrase..
You seem to have coined it..
just googled (oops) for that phrase...

amit agarwal says:

You got a good point.

Wish there was a simple way to delete emails in GMail.

doc says:

I believe that you should keep good comments about google out in a blog, since you are in YAHOO! India

JD says:

Oddpost is what I was wondering about lately. I was expecting Yahoo to do wonderful stuff using Oddpost developed tech!

And the single most important thing I want from GMail is uptime. I don't know about you but it has died too many times on me. Compare this to Yahoo Mail. I have a Yahoo account for last 6 years and not a single time, it died on me. Yes, not even a single time! It leaves very bad taste in your mouth if you can not access your mail when you need it the most. [Murphy's law doesn't help...]

JD

Manu says:

To Sriram:
There is a reason why people notice when google does something.
They make it much better !
Take search.
Google succeeded because they were the best.Clean,functional,simple homepage along with
relevant results and no "in your face" kind of advertising.

Take Gmail:
The interface is just too good.Some features I like
1)Interface ..It is pleasant and functional
2)Conversations
3)Labels ! why didn't anyone else implement it before ?
4)1 GB..Remember that microsoft the richest corporation in the world used to offer
a measly 2MB.Yahoo was just marginally better.
5)Many small features like keyboard shortcuts,reply doesn't need a reload,developers
who actually listen to users,filling in on emailids from contact list etc etc

Gmail has its weaknesses.But even with that it is vastly better than any other webmail i have used (i don't use yahoo calendar etc..So i'm not missing on anything )

Among my friends except a few all have changed to gmail and use their yahoo id's as 'catch all' ids

And since you were talking about MS here is why we don't have 'MS Orgasm'
http://people.opera.com/howcome/2003/2/msn/

Google and Apple projects a very human image.Good PR.
But except for firing an employee for blogging Google has stuck to it's
Don't be Evil policy and human image.

There is more behind 'Google Orgasm' but i think this is enough food for thought.

Sriram says:

Hmm..people noticing when Google does stuff that's been around for years. Ajax anyone? MS did Outlook Web Access - then MSN Web Messenger and just tons of stuff. And people invent a cool catchy acronym for it.

Love the phrase 'Google orgasm' though :)

Swaroop C H says:

Anand, I agree that GMail's features are fantastic, my whole post is about what extra things I'd like to see so that I can switch to it!

Btw, Yahoo! Mail is now going to be [increased to 1 GB][1] for all as well.

[1]: http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1778973,00.asp

When I said 'Google orgasm', it was not meant to offend anybody. Let me give you an example to explain what I mean. When the Yahoo! Web Services API was released, everybody said 'Oh, Google did that years ago' but nobody even *looked* at what Y! is offering, it is much much more comprehensive than Google's API. For example, Yahoo! offers Image, Local, News, Video, **and** Web Search whereas Google gives only 1 of the 5. People didn't want to see that because only Google was on their minds. That's what I meant.

Yes, I wholeheartedly accept that I have a soft corner for Yahoo! but I still want to switch to GMail ;-) , although my main wish is that they have a Plus version which allows me to send/receive mails using other domain addresses as well as have no ads (because the privacy concern still freaks me out).

Anand says:

I dont see any problems with GMail. Sure it goes down more often than Yahoo!, but
feature wise it is way ahead of any other e-mail service. Just the concept of conversations in GMail is good enough for me.
Since you got a whopping 1 GB, why do you need to bother deleting mails anyway? I have shutdown all my
other email accounts once I got my GMail account.

The uptime should definitely increase once they go out of beta. Anyway these are guys who cache nearly 8 billion
documents and 1 billion images for their search operations with some of the most innovative in-house fault-tolerant software ever written.

I can understand your soft-corner for Yahoo!, since you work there, but terms like "Google orgasm" are way
uncool.

Swaroop C H says:

Manu, even though you directed your comment to Sriram, I'd like to mention that nobody is here is disputing Google and GMail features. Hell, I like GMail! (Haven't I said that loud and clear enough already?)

What I was trying to get at was that my definition of 'cool' is also about functionality and not just nifty Javascript. For example, Google News now has customization on the way the news is arranged but I can't understand what is the value in that? My customization is stored in a cookie, so if I clear my cache or use a different browser, my settings are not used. Yet, still people go gaga over it. I'd like to remind that My Yahoo! has been doing this since years, but does anyone mention that?

And yet, I still want to see a Google Calendar with all the nifty DHTML they can throw out.

I hope you get my drift?

Swaroop C H says:

Regarding the PR ...

Just came across today - ["Demand Google News transparency"](http://www.buzzmachine.com/archives/2005_03_21.html#009318). On the other hand, [this guy removed Google Ads because of their non-disclosure policy](http://www.rogerlsimon.com/mt-archives/2005/03/is_google_progr.php).

Flames aside, I am interested to see how Google PR handles it since [Yahoo! has some stuff up its sleeve](http://publisher.yahoo.com/) as well.

At the end of the day, I still like Google for their innovation (and more so for whipping Yahoo! to do more stuff).

Swaroop C H says:

Anand: I do not want to convert this into a Yahoo! vs Google comparison simply because that wasn't even the point of the my original post! Somehow, we geeks have a way of converting everything into a flame war. This is not Slashdot. I love Google. I love Yahoo!. Period.

GMail is very convenient for us geeks, but Yahoo! Mail is used by a lot of non-technical people such as my father. I have seen that the concept of labels and conversations simply isn't easy to understand for non-techie people. That is the reason why Yahoo! Mail and other Yahoo! stuff is slow to change. That doesn't excuse innovation, of course, but they have to consider all these things before making changes. GMail has the advantage of having not to worry about these things and if you observe carefully, it is mostly geeks who are using it. It is slowly being used by non-techie people but the percentage is still less.

I agree about the ads. Nothing more to add.

I am surprised that you say that Y! Mail is lacking in the anti-spam department, because I have received just 2 spams in my inbox (as against the bulk mail folder) in the past 3 months. Have you received spam in your Y! Mail inbox off late?

Anand says:

Since we are talking about features, let us do a "real" comparison w.r.t email on
stuff that actually makes a difference, not the things I call as "frills" of french fries.

1. Spam filters - Most important when u decide to choose an e-mail service now a days.
Google has got one of the best ones I have ever seen. The spam filtering has been next
to 90% or more with only a few instances of a regular mail being classified as spam.
Yahoo! has a lot to do in this area when compared to Google.
2. Conversations - Who else had this feature before Google invented it ? Yahoo had
a head start in e-mail many years before Google, why did not the Yahoo! engineers
come up with this idea? Same goes for Labels, those niftly things that classify your
mail without actually creating "folders". Mail folders have become out of date once
Google came with Labels.
3. Contact list - You dont need to go and save a person's email into contact list, this
gets done automatically.
4. Best interface - Gmail has one of the best interfaces out there. Simple, sleek, elegant
and easy to use. I would rank Fastmail.fm after GMail in this. In fact, I have a paid account
at Fastmail.fm, though now I dont use it once I got GMail! :-) . Yahoo! will come somewhere
way down along with MSN, Lycos et al.

Let us face it, Google some how has the knack of getting their technology correct to the
fingertips, right from the back-end to the front-end. I dont know how they do this, but
they have been successful because of exactly this reason. Just like Apple, they have a feel
for the users and catch it very well right from the design phase. Perhaps it is because
of the infamous 20% time that Google engineers spend on self-innovation.

I will give you the reason why My Yahoo! or some other Yahoo! technologies are not
making such a great impact as Google's: Lack of sensibility in placing advertisements. Google
not only invented their technologies, they also invented a whole new way of making money
from them by using non-obtrusive ad words based on search terms or words in e-mails. Yahoo!
on the other hand is still dependant on in-your-face Flash ads and banner ads that take away
a lot of charm from their interfaces. It is a fact that except the naivest web users, most net-savvy
surfers hate Flash ads. This is another reason why Yahoo! groups have not taken off as
much as they promised originally. Even with the new face-lift, which I think is O.K, it won't happen if they still keep going with their obtrusive and excessive advertisements.

I can go on and on about this, but if Yahoo! has to catch up with Google on the long term, they need to pay heed to some of these things. And also make Yahoo! engineers, guys like you, to spend 20% time or more on innovative ideas! :-)

-Anand

Anand says:

All right, no flames from now on :-)

You caught me on the wrong foot.What I meant was that Google rarely tends to classify regular,
authentic mail as spam, whereas Yahoo! has done it quite often for me. Among free mail services, Google and Y! are the top two when it comes to spam filtering, but I think Google still has a slight edge there.

Swaroop C H says:

Actually, I have to disagree with the false positives part. GMail regularly puts c.l.py mails into my spam folder :( ... can't wait to see GMail Final Plus though, I think it will rock.

Swaroop C H says:

Check this out : [How Yahoo got its mojo back](http://www.gigaom.com/2005/03/26/how-yahoo-got-its-mojo-back/)

Ankit Malik says:

shouldnt really compare gmail BETA with yahoomail STABLE...

btw I have a supposed soln to the uptime problem..i maintain a yahoo a/c and I have set up gmail to forward all mails' copies to that y! account...so that in case gmail's not working..atleast i can respond thru yahoo!

what say?

Matthew Lesh says:

GAMIL HAS JUST COME OUT OF BETA
http://mail.google.com/mail/signup

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