MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - April 1, 2004 UTC - Amidst rampant media speculation,
Google Inc. today announced it is testing a preview release of Gmail – 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.
The inspiration for Gmail came from a Google user complaining about the poor quality of existing email services, recalled Larry Page, Google co-founder and president, Products. "She kvetched about spending all her time filing messages or trying to find them," Page said. "And when she's not doing that, she has to delete email like crazy to stay under the obligatory four megabyte limit. So she asked, 'Can't you people fix this?'"
The idea that there could be a better way to handle email caught the attention of a Google engineer who thought it might be a good "20 percent time" project. (Google requires engineers to spend a day a week on projects that interest them, unrelated to their day jobs). Millions of M&Ms later, Gmail was born.
"If a Google user has a problem with email, well, so do we," said Google co-founder and president of technology, Sergey Brin. "And while developing Gmail was a bit more complicated than we anticipated, we're pleased to be able to offer it to the user who asked for it."
Added Page, "Gmail solves all of my communication needs. It's fast and easy and has all the storage I need. And I can use it from anywhere. I love it!"
Today, a handful of users will begin testing the preview version of Gmail. Unlike other free webmail services, Gmail is built on the idea that users should never have to file or delete a message, or struggle to find an email they've sent or received. Key features of Gmail include:
According to Page and Brin, Google will make the preview test version of Gmail
available to a small number of email aficionados. With luck, Gmail will prove popular
to them – and to the original user who sparked the idea.
Those interested in learning more about Gmail can visit http://gmail.google.com.
About Google Inc.
Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's targeted advertising program, which is the largest and fastest growing in the industry, provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.