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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary 142

Posted by timothy
from the waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop dept.
harrymcc (1641347) writes "Google officially — and mischievously — unveiled Gmail on April Fools' Day 2004. That makes this its tenth birthday, which I celebrated by talking to a bunch of the people who created the service for TIME.com. It's an amazing story: The service was in the works for almost three years before the announcement, and faced so much opposition from within Google that it wasn't clear it would ever reach consumers." Update: 04/01 13:37 GMT by T : We've introduced a lot of new features lately; some readers may note that with this story we are slowly rolling out one we hope you enjoy -- an audio version of each Slashdot story. If you are one of the readers in our testing pool, you'll hear the story just by clicking on it from the home page as if to read the comments; if you're driving, we hope you'll use your mobile devices responsibly.
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The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

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  • by trybywrench (584843) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:14AM (#46629545)
    Wasn't Gmail the first to introduce the conversational layout? I remember the first time I saw it I was blown away over how simple the idea was yet how much impact it made on UX. Also, IIRC Gmail was the first to get Ajax right in a mail client, I remember being impressed when they embedded a GTalk client right there in mail. Then I think Google Calendar followed then docs with App Engine in there somewhere too. No matter your feelings on Google the company the software that sprang from Gmail is amazing.
  • memories (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sootman (158191) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:24AM (#46629623) Homepage Journal

    "Bidding for invites on eBay sent prices shooting up to $150 and beyond"

    Things cooled down quickly. My first sent message was to my dad, on June 27, telling him that I bought an invite on eBay for $1.50.

    Also fun to read Slashdot's original coverage of the launch. [slashdot.org]

    "It is a joke, it's going to have to go down in history as one of the biggest pranks ever pulled... both the AP and Reuters have put out wire stories which means it's going to be in hundreds of newspapers tomorrow morning."

    Good stuff, Google. Though I wish you'd learn that "sort" is as useful as "search".

  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Tuesday April 01, 2014 @09:25AM (#46629635)

    Back in the days, Google was still seen as a benevolent company that innovated for the sake of innovation - and not to sell your data to the highest biddest and monetize your entire life, as everybody now knows. Yet I didn't want a Gmail account.

    Why? Because at the beginning, Gmail was invite-only. And that my friends is a classic sales tactic to generate a false impression of privilege, the desire to be allowed in, and when a vendor has to rely on such tactics to drive up sales, something doesn't smell right.

    That was my first hint that Google's interest wasn't the user'.

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