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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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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.


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