Google Mail

Whilst it seems like pretty much every other article I write at the moment is related to Google in some way, shape or form I thought I’d stick with tradition and this week focus my article on the Google Gmail service which I have recently had a chance to tryout.Although this service isn’t yet available to the general public I thought it would be worth mentioning Gmail as it gives us an insight into what online e-mail services will have to aspire to in the future.

For those of you unaware as to the different ways that you can receive e-mail there are the standard e-mail programs present on your computer (for example Outlook Express or Mozilla Thunderbird) which download e-mails locally to your computer hard-drive and alternative is sites such as Hotmail or Yahoo which store the e-mails on the Internet so that you can visit a website, insert an e-mail address and password and retrieve your e-mails from any machine.Google Gmail falls into the latter category.

Whilst Gmail has all the standard features you’d expect from an online mail service there are a number of features that differentiate Gmail from the more established players which I’ll cover below:

Storage

One of the most commendable things about Gmail is that it gives you 2000 megabytes of storage which is absolutely huge when compared with other services that often offer just a few megabytes of space.With this amount of storage space you may never need delete an e-mail that you receive.

Speed

The front end of Gmail is extremely compact and hence takes very little time to log in and navigate.A large number of commands that you issue don’t require you to continuously reload the page like other services which does make a huge difference when managing your e-mails.

Conversations

Google refers to messages as conversations in the way that a number of messages on the same subject are grouped together as an entire conversation rather than being treated as individual messages.In this way you can manage large number of e-mails grouped into the same conversation quickly and easily so that deleting or achieving them doesn’t cause a headache.

Advertising

Google Gmail is free to use and paid for by advertising however the adverts are very small, non intrusive and are targeted so that they are more relevant to subject matter that you might find of interest.There are no large graphic adverts and no pop-up or pop-under adverts to clutter your browser.

Search

Obviously the one thing that the guys at Google are good at is search engine technology so it isn’t surprising that the search facility in Gmail is both simple but powerful.In fact, I am made quite envious that it can often take minutes to get Microsoft Outlook to search the achieved Refresh Cartridges mail on my computer but as a Gmail user the same operation would take literally 2 seconds!

Spam Technology

The application uses a powerful spam filter to protect you from unwanted e-mail and if any does get through the net you are invited to report it to the Google quality team so they can consider that similar e-mails can be blocked from the service in the future.

As I said at the start of this article Gmail isn’t yet available for the general public to start using yet as it is by invite only during the beta (testing) period but those of you that are currently using another e-mail website would be crazy not to keep an eye on the website http://mail.google.com and sign up as soon as it becomes available.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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