To offer an opinion on Gmail, as a person who has been reading a ton about it to decide whether to use it as my new email
account, it is a BETA
. The fact that google has not offered any firm commitment on how long they plan on maintaining accounts (though the account does terminate after 9 months of no activity) is a direct consequence of the fact that they are not yet sure they will offer accounts at all. The Ad
s are less intrusive that those that I get at the top of the page for my Earthlink webmail, and that's an account I pay $50/month for (ADSL
). The fact that Google
"Google employees do not access the content of any mailboxes unless you specifically request them to do so (for example, if you are having technical difficulties accessing your account) or if required by law, to maintain our system, or to protect Google or the public."
Other than that, I don't know how I lived without threaded conversations, and searching my email is absolutely the coolest thing ever (I don't really use it yet, due to the fact that I'm not sure I'll switch over, and it is still a beta.)
In any case, both the hype and the "concerns" are overratted, but to see a seriously paranoid take on the matter, http://gmail-is-too-creepy.com/ for a good laugh.
In later news, Gmail doubled their storage space to two gigabytes, and has announced their plan for "Infinity Plus One" Gigabytes of storage space; It's going to hit 3 Gigabytes by January 1st 2006, and who knows where they will stop it.