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Posted
29 October 2007 @ 6pm

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Don’t get excited over Gmail 2.0

Today, some news about the next version of Gmail was announced during Google’s analyst day.

The good news: lots of under-the-hood changes that will speed up Gmail (did anybody ever complain it was slow?) and, over time, stronger integration with the rest of Google’s portfolio. There are also some reports of an updated contact manager.

The bad news: that’s about it. If you were hoping for a paradigm shifting upgrade, you will be sorely disappointed. If this is all the news about Gmail 2.0, then is definitely an evolutionary step forward, but by no means revolutionary.

On the other hand, I guess that’s the sign of a mature company – Microsoft isn’t constantly changing the interface for Outlook either. But then, do we want Google to act like Microsoft? And given that Google has multiple bookmarking services, why can’t they tack on a few experimental email services for good measure?

If you need to know more, here is a list of all the new goodies according to InsideGoogle:

A new JavaScript backend for Gmail that will speed up performance, a big help for those who feel Gmail has gotten too slow.

Email messages will be prefetched, so that when you click on them they will have already been downloaded, and will load instantly. When reading a message, you can click Next, Next, Next, and there’s no lag, speeding through a ton of messages instantly. You can even hold down the key and your mail flies by.

A new contact manager will launch, integrating accross multiple Google products (including Docs and Calendar).

More integration with other Google Products, such as opening email attachments in the appropriate Google Docs application.

Looks exactly like Gmail does today, but under the hood it’s completely different.
The speaker didn’t say when it’ll launch, just that it’ll be “very soon”.

It should really shine “on the new MacBook Pros and the newest version of Safari”, taking advantage of new browser technology. Relevant information for a small market segment, but what about the rest of us?

Uses the same text editor from Page Creator and Google Groups.

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