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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gmail Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Still in Beta

The service debuted back in 2004

The start of April 2009 was synonymous with the first five years since Google introduced its email service to the public. Dubbed Gmail, the service was offering at that time no less than 1 GB of storage space for emails. In time, storage space for accounts has grown continually, and users are now enjoying in excess of 7.3 GB of space. According to the Mountain View search giant, tens of millions of users are currently using a service that debuted as an internal tool. Gmail was launched on April Fools' Day back in 2004.

“We want to give a big thank you to all of you who use Gmail every day, to those who've been around since the beginning, to those who were using an AJAX app before the term AJAX was popular, to those who started chatting right in your email and then video chatting a couple years later, to those who changed your theme on day one, and to those who have turned on some of the 43 experimental Gmail Labs features (and put up with the occasional bugs they introduce)...we couldn't have gotten here without you,” revealed Todd Jackson, Gmail product manager.

Despite celebrating its fifth anniversary on the market, Gmail continues to be in Beta stage. Still, the service is evolving at a rapid pace, with new additions introduced on a regular basis. The latest feature that made its debut this month is Search Autocomplete, available through Gmail Labs. It is still experimental, revealed Ibrahim Bokharouss, Google software engineer, and has to be turned on under Gmail Settings, and Labs tab.

“One of the most popular searches in Gmail is for names or email addresses, so the first kind of suggestions you'll see are contacts,” Bokharouss explained. “Gmail also offers a bunch of advanced search operators, which provide a powerful way to find that one message you have in mind. You can search in specific places (e.g. in chats or sent items), or search for messages with attachments of a certain type (e.g. docs or photos).”

Gmail Celebrates 5th Anniversary, Still in Beta

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