Saturday, June 16, 2007

Gmail Story

Google first told people about Gmail on April 1, 2004. This is April Fool's Day, a day when many people play tricks, so people thought it might be a joke especially since Google already had been known to make April Fool's Jokes (such as PigeonRank). Google said it was not a trick. However, they explained that their real joke had been a press release saying that they would take offshoring to the extreme by putting employees in a "Google Copernicus Center" on the Moon. Jonathan Rosenberg, Google's vice-president of products, was quoted by BBC News as saying, "We are very serious about Gmail."

Gmail was a project begun by Google developer Paul Buchheit years before it was ever announced to the public. For several years, the software was available only internally, as an email client for Google employees. It was hosted under the code name Caribou, a reference to a Dilbert comic strip about Project Caribou.

Before being acquired by Google, the domain name was used by the free e-mail service offered by, online home of the comic strip Garfield. This free e-mail service has moved to

Gmail also initially received a lot of criticism for a statement they made in their original terms of use, refusing to guarantee that all e-mails at Gmail would be deleted upon request by the user. Google later clarified that they were referring to backup copies of e-mails, and promised that all deleted mails would eventually be expunged completely from their servers. This, along with the feature that advertisements would be generated by software-based scanning of e-mails in order to better target them, gave rise to a controversy on web privacy .


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