Gmail (Google Mail) hasn’t disappeared after April the first and seems to be quite real. (Though I doubt the announcement date is a coincidence — nice way to get twice the pre-launch buzz, thanks to all the bloggers wondering if it’s for real.) Who would have thought there was still money to be made from a free webmail?
It’ll be interesting to see how the competition is forced to evolve. Funny that I was criticizing Six Apart’s expansionism, but I trust Google. It’s instinctive, and I can never much justify what’s instinctive. Is it Movable Type’s not really free license? (As a programmer, I can very, very well understand the choice not to use the GPL, but I never considered the “free only for personal use” license to be quite elegant.) Or Typepad’s incredibly high prices? Or how they granted exclusive rights on all their licenses in France to Loïc Le Meur?
The fact is that Google’s net credibility is unrivaled. I was going to write “unshakable”, but nobody is, particularly in that field. What’s really interesting in their offer is the gigabyte of data. (No, really?) Because of its direct consequence: unlike all the other webmails, they will have an excellent reason to include an efficient anti-spam / anti-virus system. Since nobody will ever delete a message from their account, they’d better provide good filters.
Now I hope nobody gets garoo @ gmail.com before I do (and also that they bought other domains, because that one isn’t quite hot).