March 31, 2004 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Gmail: Google's newest service. They're claiming 1Gb of free email, killer spam filters, and a great new webmail interface. They'll likely have Google ads attached to your messages, but I can't wait to see it tomorrow (hopefully it's not just an April Fools prank).
posted by mathowie (108 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There's a page at It's not funny enough for a real joke, so my money is on it being real. Sucks to Yahoo and Hotmail, eh?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:50 PM on March 31, 2004

Actual Google release here.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:51 PM on March 31, 2004

Surely no one would play tricks with a web site that thousands of people visit daily, simply for an April Fool's joke - that's crazy talk :)
posted by crunchburger at 5:52 PM on March 31, 2004

so my money is on it being real.

If it is real, one might ask why on earth a company would choose to announce something like this on April 1st, of all days. Seems counter-productive. But I guess, on the other hand, it does get people talking.

If Google's got all that storage space, why not start offering GoogleGroups archives of alt.binaries.*? Jimbob rubs hands in glee.
posted by Jimbob at 5:59 PM on March 31, 2004

Wow running a web mail service is just about as big and costly as running a search service. Good luck to them.
posted by stbalbach at 6:00 PM on March 31, 2004

sounds do we sign up?
posted by jacobsee at 6:02 PM on March 31, 2004

I'm suspicious of the font of the Gmail logo though; why is it flat and not the same style as all the other Google logos?
posted by thebabelfish at 6:09 PM on March 31, 2004

Since when do non-joke press releases from major companies contain a quote like "Heck, Yeah" from the company's founders?

I'm not so sure this is serious.
posted by punishinglemur at 6:10 PM on March 31, 2004

I'm so going to refresh until sign ups are allowed... Must snag a cool address before it's too late!

(And if this is an April's Fools, then Google owns me a new F5 key!)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 6:11 PM on March 31, 2004

The date on the release is March 31. "Heck , yeah" is entirely in keeping with their branding.

If you are right, I promise to donate all the money I have staked on this to charity ;-)
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:14 PM on March 31, 2004

"Search is Number Two Online Activity – Email is Number One; "Heck, Yeah," Say Google Founders" This has to be a joke. Why else launch it on 1st April and not earlier this week when they did the re-jigger of the google front page? But - call me crazy - maybe not...

Then again, it would be bad luck to put up an April Fool's gag before midnight. And they do seem to be putting forward a whole bunch of ideas and improvements at the moment ahead of that whole 'IPO' thing. And I'm sure that the small print will give them the right to have their search system scan through your incoming mails so they can tell what popular new links are emerging so they can use that to enhance PageRank and search results. Sort of like a blogdex-but-for-email kinda thing.

So if it is true, bye bye Hotmail.
posted by tapeguy at 6:15 PM on March 31, 2004

Isn't the time listed in linked press release just about 0:00 GMT? As in the start of April 1?
posted by punishinglemur at 6:18 PM on March 31, 2004

Here's an NYT article about gmail. I need a new email account like a hole in my head but will probably give it a try.
posted by birdherder at 6:19 PM on March 31, 2004

The date on the release is March 31.

And yet the release on their site says April 1. Curious.
posted by pedantic at 6:19 PM on March 31, 2004

And I'm sure that the small print will give them the right to have their search system scan through your incoming mails so they can tell what popular new links are emerging so they can use that to enhance PageRank and search results.

But the NYT article says, "Many people inside the company are worried that users might fear that the content of their e-mail messages could be used to tailor individual advertising messages, much as ad messages are now placed on pages tied to specific responses to search inquiries. Google hopes to quell any such concerns by assuring users that the content of their messages will remain private."
posted by Zurishaddai at 6:22 PM on March 31, 2004

Apparently Evan's been using it for awhile. Even if it is an April Fools joke, it's a great idea for Google to add — plus, without it even opening to the public, they're getting great hype on it already.
posted by GirlFriday at 6:23 PM on March 31, 2004

The inspiriation for this service "kvetched" about other webmail providers? She has to "delete email like crazy"? Since when do quotes like that from company officials find their way into an announcement of a major product launch? Has the NYT, AP, Reuters, Slashdot, Metafilter, etc. all been Punk'd? Or am I just overanalyzing this press release?

In the event that it is real, this post and all of mine preceding it in this discussion were april fools jokes.
posted by punishinglemur at 6:26 PM on March 31, 2004

I will swear blind that the page on their site was dated March 31 when I read it. I notice the dateline on the Times article is March 31 too.

Damnit, maybe you're right.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 6:26 PM on March 31, 2004

Evan does work for Google, GirlFriday (as some bloke in #mefi just informed me). Maybe he's in on the joke?
posted by Jimbob at 6:28 PM on March 31, 2004

well, i'm going to make myself vulnerable to falling for the "joke," if that's even true, by hoping against hope that it's going to happen. i want a fucking great @google address. that'd be pretty cool.
posted by oog at 6:30 PM on March 31, 2004 is not responding.
posted by adampsyche at 6:34 PM on March 31, 2004

If you're having trouble accessing the GMail page, try this. That's a link to the IP for, works for me when the domain doesn't.
posted by punishinglemur at 6:38 PM on March 31, 2004

If Evan works for Google, maybe he has been using this for a while. Maybe it's some sort of upgrade for Google employees.
posted by punishinglemur at 6:43 PM on March 31, 2004

I did a quick whois lookup and Google does own the domain name. I still think it may be an April Fools gag but don't you think the New York Times would do some fact checking before putting it on their front (web) page?
posted by fresh-n-minty at 6:47 PM on March 31, 2004

Maybe they did some fact-checking and Google lied to them.

Interesting. The more I try to justify my claim that it's a joke, the more ridiculous that claim seems. But when I look at the evidence that it's real, it just seems ridiculous. The universe is collapsing, folks.
posted by punishinglemur at 6:50 PM on March 31, 2004 works fine, and just has the "coming soon" teaser.

Why would this be a joke? "Ho ho! We gotcha! Made ya think we were going to have a great product! But we don't! Joke's on you!"
posted by gleuschk at 6:53 PM on March 31, 2004

[on preview: fresh-n-minty beat me!]

% > whois

Google Inc. (DOM-425410)
2400 E. Bayshore Pkwy Mountain View CA 94043 US

Domain Name:

Registrar Name:
Registrar Whois:
Registrar Homepage:


Created on..............: 1995-Aug-13.
Expires on..............: 2006-Aug-12.
Record last updated on..: 2004-Mar-31 16:50:22.

Domain servers in listed order:



I'm still not convinced. Somebody had the gmail domain since 1995, but certainly not google. My bet is that they bought the domain just for this prank, on somebody's 20% time. 20% of a bunch of smart geek's time would make for a killer April Fool's prank -- write the press releases. check. make up an ugly logo. check. buy a dormant url. check.
posted by zpousman at 6:54 PM on March 31, 2004

Oh dang, Google has a patent on serving ads up with email.
posted by mathowie at 6:56 PM on March 31, 2004

I don't think it's a prank at this point. Sorry I mentioned it in the original post as a throwaway line.
posted by mathowie at 6:56 PM on March 31, 2004

Others are reporting it, too.

I think it's legit.
posted by davidmsc at 6:57 PM on March 31, 2004

The could do the Bastard Operator From Hell approach to 1 gigabyte of email storage and spam filtering perfection.

seventhcircle# ls -l /var/spool/mail/ma/matthowie
lrwxr-x--- 1 matthowie mail 9 31 Mar 20:51 /data/mail1/ma/matthowie -> /dev/null

"No Mr. Haughey, your account seems fine. I don't know why you wouldn't be receiving any email. I'd be willing to double your quota for a Metafilter account though."
posted by substrate at 7:03 PM on March 31, 2004

I should sign up for like hundreds of address with cool short names and hold them. Then sell them on ebay when google clobbers hotmail into the ground.

Though some ass who knows how to script http requests is probably way ahead of me on this one..
posted by Space Coyote at 7:06 PM on March 31, 2004

The more I read about the possibilities of this, the more I want to give it a try. Imagine Google-quality search of your own email. Imagine unlimited storage and secure access via IMAP (hey, I can dream, can't I?). Imagine the best spam filters ever, and Google's gigantor team of lawyers going after anyone that spams their email accounts.

Heck, if this is half as good as I think it could be, I'll likely get rid of my whitelisting service I currently use to eliminate spam.
posted by mathowie at 7:07 PM on March 31, 2004

So, how does google profit from such a service?

The display of textual ads based on keywords of an email the user is currently reading? That could be interesting considering the unique nature of email content vs. search phrases.
posted by quam at 7:24 PM on March 31, 2004

I just hope that if it's true google isn't spreading itself too thin. A gigabyte of storage per user seems like a lot even though I realize that they're going to be playing the "most people don't really use the service" game. The thing with email is that even if you don't make use of it over time it's still possible for you to accumulate a gigabyte unless the spam filters are absolutely perfect. It's not like a shared hosting account where if you have an index page that says "Under Construction" eventually people will get the idea that it's not going anywhere.

The numbers are pretty staggering and the more popular it gets the more money it costs.

Blowing hotmail out of the water isn't necessarily a useful thing for google (or even really possible - Microsoft has around 50 billion in cash to crush google with if they felt it would be beneficial). I hope it's real but only if it doesn't undermine google. A good search engine is more important to me than a free email account.
posted by substrate at 7:28 PM on March 31, 2004 [1 favorite]

[on preview: bugger, now substrate beats me to the punch. But I have links.]

Keep on dreamin' Matt!

Imagine if Gmail signed up 30,000 users tomorrow (no sweat, right?). Lets say that these people jump at the opportunity and move all of their mail there, to get the benefits of searching, and media linking, etc. My mailstore is about 250 MB, and it's only 3 years old. If those 30,000 users (a drop in the bucket) used a large portion of their mail allocation, it would make the mailstore one of the biggest databases in existence. Heck, the Internet Archive is only 100 TB.

There's no way that any company could profitably offer 1 GB to all comers. You just couldn't buy that much storage, at almost any cost.
posted by zpousman at 7:33 PM on March 31, 2004 [1 favorite]

[0012] Thus, it would be useful to allow advertisers to put targeted ads on, or to serve ads in association with, any content perceived by people.

Well, that's a nice hint at Google's long-term strategy.
posted by quarantine at 7:33 PM on March 31, 2004 [2 favorites]

sounds innovative and risky.

sounds google.
posted by mrplab at 7:40 PM on March 31, 2004 [1 favorite]

that's a nice hint at Google's long-term strategy.

If so, they've got a cockeyed understanding of the word 'evil'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:41 PM on March 31, 2004

Well. as of a little while ago Drudge Report is calling it an April Fool's joke. And there isn't even a hint of any of this on Google proper. I vote joke.
posted by konolia at 7:43 PM on March 31, 2004

No hint other than this press release.
posted by punishinglemur at 7:48 PM on March 31, 2004

does google's apparent loss of focus make anyone else nervous? i'm all about innovation and actually find all (well, most) of their nifty little spin off projects intriguing, but at the end of the day what we want is a fast, unbelievably relevant search engine - anything else just seems like a distraction from this goal.

(of course when this all comes out as a april fools joke tomorrow i'll look like a goofus.)
posted by glenwood at 7:51 PM on March 31, 2004

I still think it's a joke for April Fools. Are people really clamoring for another email address anyway?
posted by amberglow at 8:13 PM on March 31, 2004

Loss of focus? I dunno, if it's real, and people use it, and store tera/peta bytes of stuff there, that would be one cool pile of data for Google to work on to try and figure out what people really really do with e-mail - and then build services for it. I don't think the cost/amount of storage is a problem; I have half a terabyte in external storage (250 GB + 250 GB) on my desk at the moment, and I could add more for about $1/GB.
posted by carter at 8:17 PM on March 31, 2004

totally a joke. press release says april first, slashdot story says april first, etc.

good job, ./ and google. i want to see how far this one goes.
posted by taumeson at 8:37 PM on March 31, 2004

I'm starting to lean more and more towards the idea of it being an April Fools joke. zpousman has a great point — there just isn't enough space on the Internet to hold it all.
posted by GirlFriday at 8:40 PM on March 31, 2004 [1 favorite]

Search+Orkut+Gmail=One Mother Of A Database

Let's just hope that an IPO doesn't kill the company. I can't help but think that all the new "features" are just for IPO purposes. My question is, when all these pieces are finally integrated are we looking at a killer-app-to-end-all-killer-apps for both consumers and businesses? Sure is fun to watch.
posted by anathema at 8:43 PM on March 31, 2004

To me, the fact that googling gmail yields nothing is odd.
posted by Zurishaddai at 8:43 PM on March 31, 2004

Well, even if it's a joke it still is a compelling idea. Even without an email service the potential for the tools already in place is somewhat staggering.
posted by anathema at 8:45 PM on March 31, 2004

It would be too cool.

Can someone recommend an affordable IMAP host that plays well with OS X?

I've finally given up on our school's flakey email system after losing mail twice in one semester.
posted by mecran01 at 8:48 PM on March 31, 2004

I'd be very concerned about content-specific ads for email. Data mining of private communication is ethically questionable.
posted by PrinceValium at 8:50 PM on March 31, 2004

I'd be very concerned about content-specific ads for email. Data mining of private communication is ethically questionable.

I'd say that's an understatement. It undercuts most everything good about the internet.
posted by quarantine at 8:57 PM on March 31, 2004

there just isn't enough space on the Internet to hold it all.

Well, assuming that everyone who has e-mail is also connected to the Internet, if only temporarily at times, in some ways it *is* already being held on the Internet, just on millions of small personal terminals. What Google want to do is keep it all in one place and move it from client to server.

Also, not every one is going to use up 1GB. Individual attachments will be limited to 10MB and it would take some serious usage to push up to 1GB. Also, the size of accounts will follow an inverse power law distribution, so the average size of account will be a lot less than 1GB, and the median will be even less; eventually they're looking at lots of accounts less than 200MB, probably, and just a few (in % terms) in the 500MB+ range.

At the start of the service, accounts will probably be even smaller, although they will grow in size as the service spreads and people get used to mailing each other MBs at a time.
posted by carter at 8:59 PM on March 31, 2004

And by the way, I can't be the only one who would use 1 GB of free space to email myself large backups (it's trivial to write a Linux script to chop a file into 10 MB portions and email them en masse.) I think that counting on under-utilization of the service would be a dramatic error. Of course, this is all moot of it's a hoax.

PigeonRank was clever. MentalPlex was somewhat clever. A hoax about free email services seems like, at best, testing the waters for a potential product launch.
posted by quarantine at 9:02 PM on March 31, 2004

Data mining of private communication is ethically questionable.

And if you agree to it?
posted by anathema at 9:05 PM on March 31, 2004

quarantine, I'm not saying that it will be under-utilised; but rather than when it is being *fully* utilised (don't know how you would tell, but maybe say when it's the size of Yahoo or Hotmail), if you then took the size of everyones' accounts and plotted it, it would follow an inverse power distribution, with there being a relatively few accounts maxed out (such as yours), more smaller accounts, and a huge number of very small/defunct accounts (mine, probably).

At some point the median *would* start to creep up, but by then the cost of storage would almost certainly have fallen too.
posted by carter at 9:13 PM on March 31, 2004

I say it's an April Fools joke. But, if six months from now, Google is offering a free email service, I will offer an apology in whatever forum you prefer (or something like that).
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 9:16 PM on March 31, 2004

I think it's safe to assume it's an April Fools "joke."

It's just not funny.
posted by adam at 9:21 PM on March 31, 2004

How about them also counting on the continuous exponentially improvements in storage capacity? If they are able to survive the first year of operation they can double their storage capacity for 1/2 the price they paid to set it up and and so on...they just need to stay ahead of the growth curve of the service and it may take most people time to switch over from hotmail, yahoo et al.

Provided they are able to discriminate against users who are doing anything other than opening a new account and using it to start sending text messages then they should be able to do this...
posted by nasim at 9:22 PM on March 31, 2004

Strangeleftydoublethink: Ok, best start saving up for the airline ticket just in case.
posted by fvw at 9:36 PM on March 31, 2004

actually, the internet archive is way bigger than that, zpousman. that article was written 2 years ago and now it's up around 400TB, (though it's hard to tell with file compression).
posted by mawlymawnster at 9:47 PM on March 31, 2004

a free search-based webmail service with a storage capacity of up to eight billion bits of information, the equivalent of 500,000 pages of email. Per user.

You mean some of you think this is *not* an April Fool's joke?
posted by sixdifferentways at 10:01 PM on March 31, 2004

Individual attachments will be limited to 10MB and it would take some serious usage to push up to 1GB

As quarantine mentioned, this would be so ripe for abuse it's not even funny. Think about it like this:

There are a number of groups that trade in warez/movies over the internet. The major method of transport (not counting between members of a group who are no doubt using FTP accounts on OC-3's) is IRC, Usenet, FastTrack (and other p2p) and more recently Bittorrent. But just Usenet generates gigs and gigs of traffic. What Google would effectively allow people to do is open an email account, then share (most) movies or applications (or entire CD rips... you get the idea) just by splitting them up (which is already done for Usenet posts) and clicking "SEND".

You can fit almost two CD's in a mailbox. Or one high-quality DivX movie. Or Microsoft Office and Windows 2003. It would not take long to fill. The inter-email bandwidth for people sending "gmail-to-gmail" email to each other could swamp their connections, to think nothing of the problem in storing that much information.

The guys at Google are saavy and no doubt aware of this. Either they've got more computers and bandwidth than God, or a really sick sense of humor. The problem is, both aren't *too* unreasonable given the mad geniuses behind the company's doors.

Still, my vote is for hoax.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:05 PM on March 31, 2004

i don't know, the page just went live. Nothing particularly funny about it. i get errors when trying to submit an email address but YMMV.

if it's a joke, it's not a very good one.
posted by quin at 10:13 PM on March 31, 2004

hmm... (I got errors too, quin)
posted by shoepal at 10:15 PM on March 31, 2004

I'm going to stick my neck out here and say it's not a joke. The people behind google have a far too well developed sense of humour to try doing this as a joke, unless they have a spectacular stage two of the joke planned.
posted by fvw at 10:18 PM on March 31, 2004

error here as well....
... Drat. I stayed up late for this??
posted by anastasiav at 10:19 PM on March 31, 2004

something tells me that this is Google's April Fool's joke.
posted by one.louder.ash! at 10:37 PM on March 31, 2004

one.louder.ash! may be right, but this gave me pause:

During this testing period, the Gmail interface is only available in English. However, we're committed to making Gmail available to as many people in as many languages as possible. And Gmail accounts can already be used to read and send email in most languages (even Klingon).
posted by answergrape at 10:41 PM on March 31, 2004

msnbc, notes the suspicious date for announcing such a venture... "Google spokesman David Krane, reached Wednesday night, admitted that the "color and personality" of the press release -- which is dated "April 1 UTC" and includes phrases such as "millions of M&Ms later, Gmail was born" -- "was indeed in the spirit of April 1" but said that Gmail was a serious product."

Though, it seems like it will be okutted for the first few weeks, "For now, Google is only opening up the service to invited users but expects to make it accessible to everyone within a few weeks, Google co-founder Larry Page told The Associated Press."
posted by shoepal at 10:42 PM on March 31, 2004

doh! That was supposed to be "orkutted," not okutted. sigh.
posted by shoepal at 10:44 PM on March 31, 2004

The press releasea page is suspiciously specific as to the timing of this particular release (emphasis added):

April 1, 2004 UTC
Google Gets the Message, Launches Gmail

March 29, 2004
Google Introduces Personalized Search Services; Site Enhancements Emphasize Efficiency

March 17, 2004
Google Connects Searchers With Local Information

Maybe as in, "even if it's not April Fool's Day where you are," nudge nudge wink wink?

I vote hoax. Brilliant in that it's got us talking... but some people are gonna be pissed.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:47 PM on March 31, 2004

Sometimes you need a truck-load of bandwidth. You have to cover yourself for peak demand, for the service you provide.

But you still might not be using all your bandwidth.

Think Nextel, where changing the expectation of latency leaves you with a new service to sell at a premium.

It's not hard to fill your pipes at peak, but it is hard to fill all your pipes all the time. If they can give away another service within the parameters of their existing bandwidth and provide good service, then they would be fools not to.

It takes a lot to fill the pipes efficiently, and if you have capacity than use it.

This is really basic network theory with a business model over-layed on top of it. Actually, it's typical Google business strategy.
posted by dglynn at 10:48 PM on March 31, 2004

Well, it took my address. i guess now we wait and see.
posted by quin at 10:57 PM on March 31, 2004

April 1, 2004: female users rejoice as Google launches free Gspot service
posted by elpapacito at 11:00 PM on March 31, 2004

Civil Disobedient, that was my very first thought...

Open Anonymous Proxy... Check
Gmail Account... Check
Too much time on my hands... Check
Balls to do the work... Hmmm...
posted by shepd at 11:04 PM on March 31, 2004

Damn, I was hoping for an actual signup page, not a 'send me info later'. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:32 PM on March 31, 2004

Damn, I was hoping for an actual signup page, not a 'send me info later'.

Don't sweat it too much. I'm thinking your getting is a pretty save bet.

posted by justgary at 11:44 PM on March 31, 2004

SaFe bet even.
posted by justgary at 11:49 PM on March 31, 2004

Took mine, too, BTW.
posted by Samizdata at 12:00 AM on April 1, 2004

I think it would be great if Gmail and Orkut joined forces so that I would only receive gmail from my orkut network -- in other words, use orkut to help me filter out spam.

Then orkut would have, like, a purpose.
posted by precipice at 12:15 AM on April 1, 2004

The joke is on Microsoft (who runs Hotmail the biggest free email service), who is trying to out-compete Google at its own game (new MS search service).
posted by stbalbach at 12:19 AM on April 1, 2004

I'm going to go on record here as saying 'i think this is real, and it is cool'.

Anybody who thinks that it will be common for people to have 250MB mailstores is a bit off. The entire hosting industry is built on overselling capacity, and this would be no different. Storage is cheap, and google is already expert at running huge systems with cheap hardware.
posted by mosch at 12:22 AM on April 1, 2004

Don't sweat it too much. I'm thinking your getting is a pretty save bet.

You might think so, but I'm camping on that and every variation of it right now, including
posted by The God Complex at 12:24 AM on April 1, 2004

How to apply for a job at Google 2007
Just write an Email to yourself stating: I want to work for google.
We will then contact you.
Don't send any application or resumee.
We know everything about you.
posted by asd at 12:24 AM on April 1, 2004 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure it's real. In corporate drone style, Google has one unbelievable April Fool's prank every year. The announcement of Gmail on April 1 is either a coincidence or wonderfully clever marketing (1GB is so much, people dismissed it as a prank).
posted by abcde at 12:41 AM on April 1, 2004

For those thinking of ways to abuse GMail (if it turns out to be real), it looks like Google has already thought of that.
posted by Lafe at 11:20 AM on April 1, 2004

I believe it.

After all, you can search in whatever language you're most comfortable in.

I, for one, welcome our... something something something.
posted by chicobangs at 11:20 AM on April 1, 2004

On the issue of their being able to afford it, the NYTimes article mentions a cost to Google of $2 to provide a gig of storage for a user.

I also think (and hope) this is real. Which brings us to the obvious question: who is going to be the first person to write a utility that will automatically move the entire contents (e-mail, folders, and address book) of a Yahoo or Hotmail account into a gmail account? My wife is paying $$ for a Yahoo account that is perpetually 98% full with stuff that she hasn't read in years but doesn't want to let go of and doesn't have time to manually archive.
posted by alms at 11:26 AM on April 1, 2004

I am so bummed about this. I'm right in the middle of constructing my own search-your-life e-mail system. Pants, pants, pants.

Oh, and yesterday I discovered that my great idea for GPS person location using mobile phones has been implemented by Siemens. Pants, pants, pants.

I need to get me a US patent lawyer, yo.
posted by bonaldi at 11:33 AM on April 1, 2004

Well. as of a little while ago Drudge Report is calling it an April Fool's joke.

That clinches it--it's for real.
posted by goethean at 11:33 AM on April 1, 2004 [1 favorite]

I wonder if it's a trial balloon.

If the net reaction is positive, they can say "Ha! double-fake. We were serious" and then run with it. If it's negative, they can say "Hey, just fooling, guys. It was an April 1 release, after all.

That would be smart.
posted by adamrice at 11:36 AM on April 1, 2004

According to Forbes, google has announced that Gmail is not a hoax:

Google's free e-mail service called Gmail, which will offer significantly more storage than Yahoo or MSN, "is not a hoax," said Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's vice president of products.


"It is April Fool's Day. We were having fun with this announcement. We are very serious about Gmail," Rosenberg said in an interview.

posted by unreason at 12:04 PM on April 1, 2004

Jimbob rubs hands in glee.

Um, you're doing it wrong.
posted by sudama at 1:16 PM on April 1, 2004

Aw, sudama, let the man have his fun.

That binaries thing might be a while. With all the multiple versions of Pam & Tommy movies or whatever and audition tapes of nekkid starlets and donkey games, that kind of library'd make the Internet Archive look like a 5.25" floppy. So until they work all that out, at least Jimbob (among others, uh, he said) at least has his hands.
posted by chicobangs at 1:51 PM on April 1, 2004

Does anyone have anything bad to say about Google? I don't, but I find it odd that no one seems to. I'd love to work for them.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:23 PM on April 1, 2004

Does anyone have anything bad to say about Google? I don't, but I find it odd that no one seems to.

You must not talk to many people ;) There are plenty of people concerned with the way Google deals with privacy, the quality of their searches, and so on. More info here:
posted by valerie at 2:45 PM on April 1, 2004

I can't shake the feeling that I read something about this months ago, something indicating that Google had bought the domain and registered the patent. At the time I thought it sounded interesting, but now I can't find any reference to that earlier article.

Well, I can't find it by searching Google, anyway. [shivering at the image of happy, smiling Google enforcers eradicating all trace of the author's existence]
posted by mkhall at 2:52 PM on April 1, 2004

Google, I know you're reading this. You should give me an email account.
posted by ph00dz at 5:41 PM on April 1, 2004

We are reading this, actually.

And asd...we saw that your phone fell out of its charger. We replaced it, hope you don't mind.
posted by massless at 9:04 PM on April 1, 2004

Stop it, you're freaking me out.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:36 PM on April 1, 2004

Update: There's a public login screen, which means that (provided the error message saying no one has that email address is accurate) you can see if anyone has already squatted on your desired gmail address.
posted by Zurishaddai at 9:36 AM on April 2, 2004

I think you need to login as though. Too bad is already taken :(
posted by gradfinder at 12:02 AM on April 3, 2004

They are going to make boatloads of cash selling text ads inside of emails. The ads will quickly pay for the $1/Gb storage cost (which is falling fast).

Google is getting a bit too large (creepy) though. Their IPO may turn them into a company like micro$oft.
posted by gradfinder at 12:11 AM on April 3, 2004

Update (although kinda lame): There's a link at the bottom of for somebody's girlfriend. It's kinda . (The girl, and the thoughtfulness behind the link).

Plus also, this link thing won't work right in preview. Sorry if it's ugly.

posted by ajpresto at 6:13 AM on April 3, 2004

(I knew it)
posted by ajpresto at 6:13 AM on April 3, 2004

What's the deal with the browser requirements? Seems like my 0S9.2 Mac is cut out????
posted by ParisParamus at 11:23 AM on April 3, 2004

Does anyone have anything bad to say about Google?
Note that if you delete an email, Google may mark it so that it is invisible to you, but might not really delete it. And if you terminate your account, Google does not guarantee that they will erase your emails. Google decides what to delete and when, not you. It's none of your business.
posted by piskycritter at 11:50 AM on April 7, 2004

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