April 1, 2004 marked the end of email dominance for AOL and Yahoo. That is the date when Gmail was launched as an invitation-only Beta. Like many others I had a Yahoo and Hotmail email account at the time and I was quite curious to find out what the all chatter was in regards to Google’s entry into the email race.

I eventually scored an invite and set up my Gmail acct on July 1st 2004. The first email I sent was to all my friends and family telling them all that I had switched over to Gmail from my Hotmail/Yahoo accounts and this change was for good. Here we are seven years later and I’m still using the same account and I don’t regret the change one bit. I was sick to death of all the spam emails that I was receiving through my Hotmail/Yahoo accounts and Gmail’s ability to screen out all the spam garbage won me over immediately.

Classic view in Gmail The ease of sign up and use, 1 GB of space (at that time), and the lack of spam made Gmail a runaway success. I’m amazed at how Gmail how grown in storage space (7GB +) and functionality due in part to the Google Labs and are tested and sometimes they eventually graduate into a full fledged new feature for Gmail. If you’ve not done this, go into your Gmail account settings and click on Labs and checkout all the available experimental stuff that Gmail can do. One feature I was extremely happy to see integration of was pictures in the body of Gmail because for the longest time you had to attached all of your images. The undo send feature is a lifesaver sometimes if you happen to click send by accident and it allows you the ability to stop the email from sending. Signature tweaks was another great addition because like Outlook, it allowed you to create an email signature so you didn’t have to type out this information for each email you sent.

With the additions of Google Documents, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Voice, Google Buzz, Google +, Gmail has grown to become even more useful on a daily basis and began to gently nudge users towards for integration to running everything they do on their laptops in the cloud. Already Google has completely redesigned the Gmail, Google Documents, Google Calendar interfaces in an attempt to get them to match up to the newly launched Google + interface. Preview (Dense) view in Gmail

I enjoy the mobile versions of Gmail on my iPod touch and iPad. I’ve used the iPod touch version of Gmail mobile since November of 2007 and I love it. I bought my iPad December 2010 and I’ve used it an enormous amount on it as well. I’m really looking forward to using Gmail when I upgrade to my new iPhone sometime next year. I didn’t realize at the time when I signed up for my Gmail account that I was also establishing my Google account that would unlock the door to everything else that Google would eventually have to offer, all for free. If you are looking for a stable email with 7 GB of storage you should seriously consider switching over to Gmail. Google also offers Gmail to businesses and universities for a fee. The next ten years should be quite interesting to see the direction that Google takes Gmail.

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