Gmail is 12 years old Today: Gmail History

Gmail History Overview of History of Gmail

It was like a joke how Gmail all started on the 1st of April 2004 and today every 1st April is marked as a very important day for Gmail.

According to Wikipedia article concerning the History of Gmail, It said “The public history of Gmail dates back to 2004. Gmail, a free, advertising-supported webmail service with support for Email clients, is one of the free products from Google. Over its history, Gmail interface has become integrated with many other products and services from the company that with one Gmail account, you will have access to all other Google products, with basic integration as part of Google Account and specific integration points with services such as Google+, Google Hangouts, Google Drive, Google Calendar, YouTube, and Google Buzz. It has also been made available as part of Google Apps. The Official Gmail Blog tracks the public history of Gmail from July 2007”.

Today, being provided by the world’s largest search engine, Gmail at the same time has grown to be the world largest free Email service that in a number of 100, you see 65-70 percent are Gmail users.

The Internal development of Gmail

Gmail app

The Gmail project all started by one Google developer “Paul Buchheit” who already had the motivation of doing something about web-based email service in the 1990s, before Hotmail was launched. Buchheit started his work on Gmail in August 2001 at Google.

While Gmail was still in its development stage, there are already other existing email services like Yahoo Mail and Hotmail which had very slow interfaces which were written in a plain HTML code. This reloads the entire webpage if any action is to be taken by the email user.

On this, Buchheit these features of Yahoo Mail and Hotmail as errors and thus decided to use a highly interactive JavaScript code to write Gmail. This is an approach that came to be called the AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

Gmail was created with a storage space of 1GB after much debate and considerations on the storage space for users; making it high rated when compared to the 2 to 4 MB space that was the standard as of that time.

Before that, Buchheit had already been working on Gmail for about a month before he was joined by another engineer at Google, Sanjeev Singh, with whom he would eventually find the social-networking start-up Friend Feed after leaving Google in 2006. Gmail had its first product manager, Brian Rakowski, and learned about the Gmail project on his very first day at Google in 2002, fresh out of college. In August 2003, another new Google recruit, Kevin Fox was given the task of designing Gmail’s interface for users. About a dozen of people were still working on the Gmail project when it was finally launched in April 2004.

At first, the software was only available as an internal email system for Google employees alone according to Google that the software had been used internally for “a number of years” before it got its public release in 2004.

Gmail History: Gmail Public Release

Finally Gmail was announced publicly by Google on 1 April 2004, following extensive rumors of its existence during the testing stage. Owing to the April fool’s Day release and all sorts of pranks that come on that day, the company’s press release aroused scepticism and doubts in the technology world, owing to the fact that Google had been known to make April fool’s jokes in the past, like the PigeonRank prank. However, Google explained that their real joke had been a press release saying that they are taking offshoring to the extreme by putting their employees in a “Google Copernicus Center” on the Moon. Jonathan Rosenberg, Google’s vice-president of Google products, was quoted by BBC News as saying, “We are very serious about Gmail” in 2004.

As the time the Gmail email service was announced to the public, Google as of then did not have the required and sufficient infrastructure in place to provide millions of Gmail users a reliable service with the agreed gigabyte of storage space apiece. At the end, Google mail ended up running on three hundred old Pentium III computers nobody else at Google wanted. At lease, this was sufficient for the mean time in the limited beta rollout the company had earlier planned, which involved inviting about 1,000 opinion leaders all around and allowing them to invite their friends, family members to become beta testers of Gmail, The trials of this all kicked off on 21 March 2004 and growing slowly from there to the world largest email service and recently in 2016 included a Security alert system to Gmail.

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