I opened a GMail account today. This is the new mail service from the boys at Google. From what I've seen so far, it looks like a well thought-out approach, as is everything Google does. (They recruit the best talent.)
I don't think GMail is open to the general public yet. A friend at Berkeley (San Francisco Bay Area) knows people working on the new system. He sent me an "invite" to open a new account. (See below.) The best thing is that I was able to select a great user-name (minimum 6 characters): my first choice. On most free web-mail sites, it usually takes me 10 minutes to come up with a name someone hasn't taken already.
XXX has invited you to open a free Google Gmail account. The invitation will expire in three weeks and can only be used to set up one account.
To accept this invitation and register for your account, visit XXX. Once you create your account, XXX will be notified with your new @gmail.com address so you can stay in touch with Gmail!
If you haven't already heard about Gmail, it's a new search-based webmail service that offers:
• 1,000 megabytes (one gigabyte) of free storage
Gmail is still in an early stage of development. If you set up an account, you'll be able to keep it even after we make Gmail more widely available and as one of the system's early testers, you will be helping us improve the service through your feedback. We might ask for your comments and suggestions periodically and we appreciate your help in making Gmail even better.
To learn more about Gmail before registering, visit here.
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1,000-MB of storage. I had to look at that again. At first I thought it couldn't be true. Dang. That's a lot of space. I'd never have to delete another message .. for the rest of my life. Scary, ain't it?
By contrast, Ziplip (secure mail service) offers only 2.5-MB of mail storage (for free). They charge US$40 per year for a 5-account package with 10-MB of storage per account. And that doesn't include their $25 set-up fee. I forget how much space HushMail offers. Heck, this whole web site runs on only 350-MB.
It's certainly the fastest web-mail service I've ever used, but that's probably because not many people are using it yet. I only wish there were some way to import my Outlook Express address book.
The interface looks like this (screen shot, 1260x850, 40-KB), I especially like GMail's "Report Spam" button/feature. I'll be playing with it more in the coming weeks and let you know what I think. Other links you might find interesting: Getting Started with GMail, and Introduction to GMail. In a few days, they tell me, I'll be able to "invite" 3 people myself.
More links I just found: What's behind Gmail's popularity? and Fledgling Gmail hits the geek spot. Also found these utilities: an importer and Gmail to POP3 converter. It also looks like Yahoo mail and Hotmail will be increasing their storage capacities to compete with Gmail.