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A view of the new contacts manager.  (Source: GoogleBlogscoped.com)
GMail 2.0 is coming soon to your friendly local internet.

Google announced some news at its Analysts Day, which may excite some -- it will be releasing a completely rewritten, optimized and improved version of GMail.  The version's goal is reportedly to raise customer satisfaction to 70 percent. 

Such a high satisfaction rate, particularly for a free email service would be very impressive.  Many internet services, including the internet service itself enjoy woefully low satisfaction and general customer antipathy.

GMail has been driven by aging Java-script which will now be brought up to speed. The new version dubbed "GMail 2.0" has two main goals:  faster service and better contact management.

Initial testers reported the test version felt noticeably faster and more responsive, particularly in contacts management.  They report a new contacts screen, as well as that the chat can now not be hidden (at least in the trial version).

Another improvements is that contact pictures can be transferred directly from Google's Picasa web albums, all server-side, to reduce bandwidth and processing expenses on the user side.

Google recently made headlines when it switched to the superior IMAP protocol, an unexpected move for a free internet service, as reported at DailyTech.  IMAP support should be almost completely rolled out to GMail users by now.

Expect to see GMail 2.0 rolled out sometime this year or early next year.  The update is recognizable by a "newer version" option appearing in the upper right hand links in the mail window.  Be sure to comment if you received this update, as Google has not announced a hard date for the rollout.

Google currently features over 4 GB of storage per account, which makes it one of the most generous providers in terms of storage space.

Google has been breaking ground with many new initiatives, including its Google News, the Google Lunar Challenge and the Unity Project -- a trans-Atlantic cableline.  It did recently get its heart broken by Facebook, when it got rejected for Microsoft.  However, it is unconcerned as it has a deal with Myspace.com and several other networks, and hoards of loyal GMail users, who will soon be enjoying an improved version of their favorite email service.



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Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By Jedi2155 on 10/31/2007 9:34:07 AM , Rating: 5
How can we have a GMail 2.0 while we are still in beta??

Unless there's some sorta highly advanced method of jumping from v0.9 to 2.0 I haven't heard of O.o




By ksherman on 10/31/2007 10:08:32 AM , Rating: 2
haha, true. I wonder what their excuse is? BETA 2.0?!


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By SocrPlyr on 10/31/2007 10:10:53 AM , Rating: 4
To be honest, the reason why Google uses the term Beta is twofold:
1. It sounds like it is a work in progress and always getting better...
2. People are willing to accept a subpar product if it has the tag Beta, because they are already recognizing the fact that it is unfinished. (Some might argue that this also affords Google some legal leeway as well, but I doubt this due the fact that the service is now so widely available and it could be easily argued that they shouldn't have done that if it was truly a Beta.)

I do agree that Google as a multi-billion dollar company needs to grow up and actually finish a product. (Well I question the worth of most of these companies anyway. One day I think we are going to have another bubble, albeit a smaller one.)


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By drebo on 10/31/2007 10:31:52 AM , Rating: 5
I don't know if you've ever used Gmail before, but the interface is superb. It's more polished and functional than most commercial stand-alone email clients. I would definitely say to try it before you knock it. It's a great service, and the fact that it's free just makes it all the better.

When you subscribe to any free service, you're not required to receive a perfect experience. You get what you pay for. GMail, however, is as near to a perfect email service as you could ask for.


By howtochooseausername on 10/31/2007 10:38:46 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
I don't know if you've ever used Gmail before, but the interface is superb.


Gotta agree there. GMail's interface is extremely useful. I love how conversations are automatically threaded. And its easy to find any message quickly.

I would love to use GMail for my work.


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By baseball43v3r on 10/31/2007 1:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I would love to use GMail for my work.


you can use gmail for work, i'm not sure the specifics but my old high school has an agreement with using gmail where we kept our email address but got the goolge interface and the storage capacity from google. i'm not sure where this is at but look throuight the google corporate part (yes this is a free service if i remember correctly) hope that helps


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By sandytheguy on 10/31/2007 2:29:40 PM , Rating: 5
The service is called "Google Apps" now. It allows you to use gmail with your own domain name.

http://www.google.com/a/


By johnsonx on 11/5/2007 3:57:09 PM , Rating: 2
I have a customer using GMail (vis Google Apps) for two of his domains. It seems to work fine, and is easy to setup.

Personally I think GMail blows compared to having a real mail server; I don't think I could live with it. But the customer seems happy with it, so who am I to argue?


By Spyvie on 10/31/2007 10:44:09 AM , Rating: 2
I tell ever user who'll listen that Gmail is the best email they can get.

Even if they had to pay a small monthly fee, it would still be the best...

I guess I'm a fanboy... a GTard!


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By Murst on 10/31/2007 12:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
I currently use gmail as my main email, although if I had to start over, I'd probably be using hotmail instead (but its too much of a pain to switch emails). I consider both web uis to be awesome.

The thing that really started to bug me about gmail is their "label" system for emails. The labels are nice by themselves, but I would really prefer to place mail in folders. The big problem with labels I guess is that you can't move mail away from your main inbox. Each time you look at the inbox, you have to see all of your mail.


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By llamaboy on 10/31/2007 12:57:19 PM , Rating: 5
Actually .. you don't always have to see everything.

Gmail supports a feature called 'archive' which simply sets a flag on the email hiding it from the initial Inbox view.

So I have my filers apply labels and flip the archive flag, which effectively turns the labels into folders. For example:

Matches: from:(Netflix *)
Do this: Skip Inbox, Apply label "Netflix"

This applys my "Netflix" label, and archives the email so I only see it when I look at the Netflix label and it never even graces my "inbox".


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By Murst on 10/31/2007 2:50:12 PM , Rating: 4
Man, you guys rock. Archive is exactly what I needed. :)

Inbox is so much cleaner now.


By Vim on 11/1/2007 6:30:48 AM , Rating: 2
Wait what? They finally allowed to properly move emails from Archive to Archive? Instead of just labelling em? Honestly, that was the only thing I found wrong with Gmail, other than that, I love it...


By carl0ski on 10/31/2007 6:06:38 PM , Rating: 2
just be careful that you actually put a label on you email before you archive it.

God forbid you may need to use the powerful search to find it again


By Maskarat on 10/31/2007 1:01:54 PM , Rating: 2
Just archive your mail .. and it will vanish from your inbox! It will go inside your archives.

That way you will keep a clean inbox!


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By lumbergeek on 10/31/2007 1:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I use my Hotmail account as my primary e-mail just because I've had it forever (!), the spam filter works EXACTLY as I expect it to, configured they way I have it, and folder organization is excellent. Yes, I have a Gmail account, but it's a secondary. Now if Google had Gmail (or even existed - it did not) when I got my first webmail account, maybe I'd be more of a Gmailman. Oh, and for those who complain about the perpetual Beta status at Google, my Google Earth (love it!) does not have a beta tag anymore.


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By gramboh on 10/31/2007 4:27:51 PM , Rating: 5
Hotmail is so slow compared to Gmail in terms of load time and responsiveness, even with my highspeed work connection (100+mbit WAN). GMail feels almost like a local client. Also Hotmail is so damn ugly especially with those horrible banner ads, I can't stand it. Does it still append all your emails with some Hotmail.com blurb at the bottom?


By drunkenmastermind on 10/31/2007 6:40:46 PM , Rating: 3
I totally agree that those ad are awful and the reason I dislike hotmail. Gmail is a clean experience for me. All I remember about hotmail is constant deleting to recover space.


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By 16nm on 10/31/2007 2:27:21 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
... and the fact that it's free just makes it all the better.


I understand your point, but I want to clarify that it is not really free. Everytime you give money to a company that advertises on Google, you are paying for the services that Google offers. Companies budget for these advertising costs and their pricing that YOU pay is affected. You do pay Google, just not directly. If you are not happy with any of these many no-cost-to-user services then you should feel free to demand better. Don't think they are free and accept poor service because of it.


By rdeegvainl on 11/1/2007 3:17:47 AM , Rating: 2
That is like saying I paid what's his face down the road's salary, and bought his new Ipod. That is just being part of the economy. Sure in the vaguest sense we do pay for it. But they aren't getting the money from us so we don't really pay for it.
They might be paying for it with money that was once yours, but, if you parted with it to some company, they have free reign over it, and whatever it goes to pay for, is not paid for by you.
And in the same vague viewpoint that it is, it would be paid for by your employer, since they gave you the money, and if your self employed then it comes from your customers, and eventually it goes all the way back to the government who prints the currency. But really it's all about existing in an economy and Gmail being free.


By Nik00117 on 10/31/2007 4:44:03 PM , Rating: 2
I gotta agree, everyone even complete morons who don't even know what a CPU are have seen my gmail account and they just want it. Everything is just nice and easy to get too.


By crimson117 on 10/31/2007 4:08:53 PM , Rating: 3
I think Beta vs Release is all marketing.

Microsoft says Windows Vista is a release version, not a beta, but everyone treats it like a beta until SP1.

Google says Gmail is a beta version, but everyone relies on it like it's a fully released an supported product.

So in the end it's the product itself that we care about and not it's release status.


RE: Wait...I thought it was still beta....
By Quiescent on 11/4/2007 8:15:48 AM , Rating: 2
I think it's finished quite enough for me.

Several things I like about Gmail:
1. there's no image ads all over the frickin place which actually takes the focus off of your email and onto the ads instead because they take up so much space. I hardly ever notice those text ads that appear when you're reading an email.

2. At the top you can show the rss feeds you want to show and sift through. Granted some of them are the ones you can't change and are more of advertisement, but it all adds up to being alright with me. I even have DailyTech RSS feeds at the top.

3. You can search for your emails.

4. They have excellent spam filters. If you have spam in your inbox, just mark it as spam and sooner or later if the same spammer is sending it to you, it just goes into your spambox.

5. You can make it so that emails from a certain address is indexed and sent to a name you make up for it.

6. Google chat

7. If you wanted, you could send emails from an email address directly to the trash can.

8. The obvious: You may have infinite space with one provider, but just because you currently have 4625 mb of space now with gmail, doesn't mean it's not infinite. Last I checked it was at around 2000mb.

9. You don't have frickin advertisements on the bottom of every email you send to someone. Which is why I hate Yahoo. Screw yahoo. Everybody uses it, because they haven't seen anything better. I'm telling you Gmail is way better!

10. Pretty much there is a lot of things you can do that I don't see happening with other providers. I also see things that are better than the other providers. I especially like not getting all that spam I see in people's Yahoo inbox not in my inbox.


By Quiescent on 11/4/2007 9:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
11. I can open it in Lynx no problems at all

12. When I upload a file or several on a nice connection, but slow computer, the file uploads quick and painless. However, everybody else takes forever uploading their files using providers like Yahoo and Hotmail.

13. When you view an image file, microsoft word, excel, powerpoint, etc file. You can either view it regularly, view it as an HTML file, download it, or use Google Documents to see it. I prefer Microsoft for editing. Google can be a pain in the rear for editing.

14. Snippets: I actually see a bit of the email before I even see it. This can be handy if spam ever gets in the inbox and you don't know if to trust it or not. Just look at what the snippet shows. Usually, if it's viagra spam, it will always have something trying to make it hard to read and bypass filters.

15. You can take an email account you're currently using, sign up for Gmail, and have Gmail act like your outlook express for that other email address.

Basically, I'm kind of scared of an upgrade so far for Gmail. I love it the way it is. I don't need anymore upgrades for my Gmail. It's not in Beta for me, either. I think it is a good final release.


By mikefarinha on 10/31/2007 10:25:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
How can we have a GMail 2.0 while we are still in beta??


Haha, good point!

I assume that it is most likely because Google will never consider GMail a 'finished' product. They are always tinkering around with it so it is always a WIP.


By Alias1431 on 10/31/2007 9:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
Lol, Gmail RC 2.0, I guess.


out with Java-script, in with... what?
By Jeff7181 on 10/31/2007 9:44:26 AM , Rating: 3
What is being used to create Gmail 2.0? Not so aged Java-script, Flash, XML?




RE: out with Java-script, in with... what?
By glitchc on 10/31/2007 9:46:45 AM , Rating: 2
Most likely AJAX..


By nace186 on 10/31/2007 9:50:33 AM , Rating: 5
which is still javascript and xml. Current gmail is already using ajax...


RE: out with Java-script, in with... what?
By GoatMonkey on 10/31/2007 9:58:36 AM , Rating: 1
It's probably just refactored JavaScript code.


RE: out with Java-script, in with... what?
By omnicronx on 10/31/2007 9:59:56 AM , Rating: 1
bump..


By Gul Westfale on 10/31/2007 10:30:10 AM , Rating: 3
maybe it would run faster if they just updated their mail servers?


RE: out with Java-script, in with... what?
By mikefarinha on 10/31/2007 10:36:37 AM , Rating: 3
From the article:
quote:
GMail has been driven by aging Java-script which will now be brought up to speed.


From GoatMonkey:
quote:
It's probably just refactored JavaScript code.


Refactoring code is just a way of cleaning up code to be more readable while keeping its current behavior. Functionality should be exactly the same after refactoring.

However I think you mean that they will still be using Java Script, but with improved functionality. Which is how I read the article too.

I'm looking forward to see all the new changes even though GMail is already great as it is.

Hopefully they will still allow people to turn off the integrated Google Talk. When I'm at work and have the Google Talk enabled it shows up with a lot of network pings which, our NetAdmin likes to get all up in arms about.


By ertomas on 10/31/2007 6:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
You can turn ofs chat. At the bottom of the page there's a link to turn it off.

BTW. I already have a link to an "older version" on my gmail. Thinks look a bit different!


I think i have the beta
By timbro on 10/31/2007 10:31:53 AM , Rating: 2
I have a link at the top that says old version/new version and at the bottom of my gmail it has a turn off chat link. How else can i tell if i have it?




RE: I think i have the beta
By timbro on 10/31/2007 10:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
yeah im pretty sure i have it. If i set it to older version the contacts screen is completely different. But other than that i don't notice any differences.


RE: I think i have the beta
By drebo on 10/31/2007 10:37:59 AM , Rating: 2
That's the point. The differences are in the back-end. They've really optimized it and the application as a whole performs much more smoothly.


RE: I think i have the beta
By timbro on 10/31/2007 10:44:37 AM , Rating: 2
it does run very fast now. but i don't remember it running slow to begin with. I notice some subtle differences like the more actions dropdown. I tested out the IMAP function and it works great :D


RE: I think i have the beta
By Suomynona on 10/31/2007 1:28:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it does seem faster now, especially when opening a single e-mail. Long threads of e-mails are a little slow to load because of all the text, but switching between an e-mail and your inbox is almost instantaneous.


RE: I think i have the beta
By techfuzz on 10/31/2007 11:16:49 AM , Rating: 2
I have the new version too. When I checked my mail this morning I noticed the new chat box on the left. I thought it was just a new feature they added; I didn't realize it was an entirely new version until I saw this article on DT just now.


RE: I think i have the beta
By Murst on 10/31/2007 12:16:47 PM , Rating: 2
gmail has had a chat box for like a year now. I disabled it (by a link at the bottom of the page) several months ago cause it was annoying.


RE: I think i have the beta
By techfuzz on 10/31/2007 2:18:50 PM , Rating: 2
When I switch back to the older version, the chat box isn't there so I don't know where yours came from in the old version.


RE: I think i have the beta
By Murst on 10/31/2007 8:29:10 PM , Rating: 2
Weird... like I said, I have had the chat for a very long time. However, I currently have no link to switch back and forth between new and old version.


Correction...
By Bonrock on 10/31/2007 10:53:36 AM , Rating: 2
From the DailyTech article:

Google currently features over 4 GB of storage per account, which makes premier provider in terms of storage space.

That's incorrect. Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail gives you 5GB of storage per account.




RE: Correction...
By Fantasy7 on 10/31/2007 11:10:44 AM , Rating: 2
It's true... Microsoft has been pushing hard to compete with Gmail as all it has moved from by far the largest and most popular free email provider to being large but sucky. It used to be the only good option. But still, five GB is still a lot of space. But it's only a matter of time before Gmail's constantly ticking space meter passes it up.


RE: Correction...
By Marlowe on 10/31/2007 1:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
I use GMail, but I also have a hotmail account, and I think the new refreshed look of hotmail looks pretty good. It has more options and customisations than GMail on how you want to read your mails. You can switch color theme also :P Still prefer GMail and its implementation into my google.com/ig start page though :)

Just wanted to say that hotmail has become allright :)


RE: Correction...
By Etsp on 10/31/2007 2:49:41 PM , Rating: 2
Does hotmail still refuse to accept emails if you haven't logged in every ten days or so? Cause if it does, I'm sticking with gmail.


RE: Correction...
By EvoKnvl on 10/31/2007 2:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
And isn't yahoo's email unlimited?


RE: Correction...
By jconan on 10/31/2007 8:22:54 PM , Rating: 2
Even if Yahoo provides unlimited e-mail. Their e-mail still takes awhile to refresh. Comparing a vertical scroll from Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail. Gmail beats both. In spam filtering Gmail trumps Yahoo. Yahoo spam filter is lame and also I think their e-mail system is not secure. Somehow it seems like spammers have been plundering their contacts or e-mail users list and using it to spam. Hotmail doesn't stay long enough to evaluate if I haven't logged in to check e-mail. In the end Gmail is still king of the hill. IMHO


Finally...
By SocrPlyr on 10/31/2007 10:04:45 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully it will be a reasonable interface, unlike what they have. I most web based email to be incredibly annoying to use. Although the Yahoo beta is getting reasonable. I hope the Google one makes a lot of progress for them.

By the way did DT ever announce the beta version of Yahoo?

Personally, as it stands right now I like the Yahoo one the best of the ones I have tried. (Hotmail, Yahoo, Google, Webbased provided by RR, and Webbased provided by my Univ.)

Let's hope this is progress.




RE: Finally...
By drebo on 10/31/2007 10:36:57 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly, to me, one of the best features about this new version is the fact that the overall interface is completely unchanged from the previous version.

The thing about GMail is the simplicity of the service. There aren't a lot of bells and whistles to make it look pretty, but damned if it isn't functional. That's what sets it apart, in my opinion.

There are no graphical ads. It runs well in nearly every modern web browser on almost any machine past the Pentium 2 era. They don't waste effort on fancy transition effects or mouse-overs or tons of in-page dynamic content (read: unnecessary AJAX). Sure, they could have gone for a fully-blown Outlook Web Access clone like so many others have done, but I think that Google has something going with their simplicity. It worked for them in the search space, and it's working for them in the email space as well.


RE: Finally...
By FITCamaro on 10/31/2007 10:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
I've been using Gmail since its inception and have loved it. I've got no problem with its current interface.


IMAP
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 10/31/2007 10:42:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
IMAP support should be almost completely rolled out to GMail users by now.


I'm still waiting... and I've had an account since mid-2004.




RE: IMAP
By ninjit on 10/31/2007 1:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
Got IMAP on mine yesterday.
My account has been open since 04 as well, but I don't think they're rolling out chronologically.

Some friend's who signed up just a few months ago have already got IMAP enabled.


RE: IMAP
By WilsuN on 10/31/2007 5:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
I also got my IMAP. However, I don't see what's so great about it. Maybe it's just because I never use local/offline e-mail clients...


Spammers haven?
By AvidDailyTechie on 10/31/2007 10:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
99.9% of the spam I get is from gmail...

I only really got spam after gmail came about... ???




RE: Spammers haven?
By baseball43v3r on 11/1/2007 2:30:05 AM , Rating: 1
learn to set your filters, and dont use your email address where spammers can get to it. Spamming is a user problem, not a google problem.


RE: Spammers haven?
By johnsonx on 11/5/2007 4:04:08 PM , Rating: 2
The spam may claim to be from gmail, but if you read the headers I imagine you'll find it came from somewhere else.


javascript
By Philippine Mango on 10/31/2007 5:32:33 PM , Rating: 2
Ok so the old interface is driven by "aging javascript", so what is the new interface driven by?




RE: javascript
By dashrendar on 11/1/2007 1:29:57 PM , Rating: 2
It's driven by younger and livelier Javascript with perky breasts.


Gmail
By pauldovi on 10/31/2007 10:52:14 AM , Rating: 2
I use gmail because they offer free POP3 forwarding. Which most people didn't offer at the time I signed up a few years ago. They continue to impress me with their service.

I rarely use the web interface and I didn't have an issue with it when I did.




It's all I use
By BPB on 10/31/2007 10:54:31 AM , Rating: 2
Gmail is pretty much all I use now. I have it setup to access all my email accounts with the exception of Hotmail, which is what I use for my MSDN account and other MS related services.

I love how I now have ALL my email in one location, for all my accounts. In the past, if I was at somebody else's home and I wanted to show them an email I sent to somebody, I couldn't. Now, I just log into Gmail and all my email's there, sent and received, for all my accounts (since I started using Gmail this way). I was an early Gmail user and got hooked quick. I'm glad I did. I'm up to 4.5GB, which doesn't hurt either.




[Borat] Very Nice!! [/Borat]
By andrewsdw on 10/31/2007 1:47:23 PM , Rating: 2
I love the new interface...much smoother. I was actually getting ready to install outlook to use gmail because I was tired of the interface...especially contact managment. Cancel those ideas though! This is nice!

One thing I didn't see anyone comment on was how the interface and text look smoother now?




Better!
By natewildes on 10/31/2007 2:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
Having received access to the new version just this week, I've already noticed some important improvements:
-initial loading time DRASTICALLY decreased, and is almost instantaneous
-Interface is a little more streamlined, and eliminates some windows 98-like buttons etc.
-Contact management is better, but not what it should be, hopefully with feedback from testers they'll knock it up another notch for the final release.




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