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A view of the new contacts manager.  (Source:
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 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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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 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.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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