Gmail Just Got Perfect?

"Techcrunch » Blog Archive » Uh Oh, Gmail Just Got Perfect Google quietly added a small feature to Gmail this week called Mail Fetcher. When that feature launched, Gmail became perfect."

gmail perfect? not yet — all too often I find that Google's religion often gets in the way of it becoming a great service.    Google's world view is defined by and through the lens of search.   This drives features that are sometimes bent (no folders, only labels, pray tell whats the difference, metaphors are important, no need to bend them), features that are sorely lacking (eg: IMAP, in search centric world where everything lives in the cloud no one needs to sync with clients or devices, why bother with IMAP?  Or is it because IMAP will break the conversations feature, or because it will give users a path around the ad's?), and features which are good but not great (like the conversations feature, that every so often mis-files a mail and suddenly mail is a mess) and a data / privacy policy that serves search not the users.  Last, in a world where there is a rich set of tools emerging for client based email (eg: here , or here , or there ), wouldnt some API"s make sense in gmail?

There is so much head room for improvement in mail – gmail made some great strides forward, but perfect, not yet, and not for most of the world, at least thats what the data suggest.   Last time I saw usage data for web mail based services, in the US, Yahoo was the leader with 40+% share, gmail had less than 3% share — i often hear that internationally gmail is meant to be way ahead, but I recently saw a piece on market share in India of web mail services and gmail has 5% share, yahoo, reddif and hotmail have most of the rest of the market.  Alpha geeks seem to gloss over this data with the assumption that its only a question of time, and the rest of the world will figure it out.   Two and half years after the launch of gmail the rest of the world still hasnt figured it out — and btw, in the quest to follow google, no one seems to talk much about myspace's  20% domestic share of email, the Newscorp UK / google deal is interesting for that reason and some.   

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