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August 11, 2006

Why Is Gmail Still In Beta?

Many people are wondering why Gmail, a service launched in April 2004, is still in beta. The screenshots below are a good answer. Gmail still has problems with scalability and server errors are still frequent.

How to use Gmail efficiently
When will you run out of Gmail storage space?
Gmail - the fourth most popular webmail service


  1. My take:

    1) GOOG could dedicate more servers / bandwidth / eggheads to GMAIL but doesn't do it because they want to give TimeWarner a chance with AOL Mail and AOL Messenger.

    2) Search is easier to monetize than Communication (Chat, Mail, Forums) - so it makes sense not to push the communication Tools

    3) Social Networking, Instant Messaging, Online Collaboration etc. are more important and need heavy infrastructure investments

  2. Is the Gmail trademark issue still pending in the U.S.?


  3. Beta is good...
    I mean ,as long you can't completely trust it it must stay beta,google is not just like the others...
    Linux style?

  4. Maybe it's not in beta, the name of this service may be "Gmail Beta". :-)
    With this name, no tradmark problem...

  5. All positive commnets

    One Negative

    Maybe Gmail Crashes (can close shop) sometime and leave with all our data...hehee

    just hoping gmail lives forever

  6. I think GMail should definitely stay in beta for more. I have trouble receiving emails sometimes, I don’t receive email that I KNOW I suppose to receive, or I receive them a day later. It happens often enough to not to trust it.
    Is anybody else having the same problems?

  7. I haven't had any GMAIL issues ever since. And I am one happy user of this email service. Better than Y&#@@ frickin' mail!

  8. I do love gmail but must agree with some of the preceding comments.

    I got those login errors quite a bit, more than I ever saw with Hotmail. They can be frustrating errors to get when important mail needs to be read. More frustrating (and baffling) has been the way that gmail handles mail forwarded TO my gmail account by a local ISP. Mail that comes to my account at the local ISP and is forwarded to gmail often takes 12-24 hours to arrive at the gmail account. I know that it is forwarded instantly by the ISP because it is sent and deleted isntantly. Somehow, the mail that flows through the local account is slowed down by gmail. Any ideas?

    When will gmail get more reliable? Would be nice.

    KUSP-FM Santa Cruz, CA

  9. Speaking of errors...
    has anyone else been getting errors in Gmail like 'your action was unsuccessful' or 'please try again'?

    I have that happen a couple of times per day. Sometimes when I'm attempting to save or send, and sometimes when I'm trying to 'mark as read' or some other task on the dropdown list.

    I wrote to Google about it and was sent a message saying that they don't support third party applications. Which is not an answer to the question I asked. I am still waiting for a more pertinent reply.

    I was entertaining the notion that Google thinks Firefox is a third party application, and if Gmail fails due to some bug with Firefox, then they can pass the buck as above. But if that were the case, shouldn't Gmail acknowledge that there is a problem, even if it's not one they created?

  10. Interesting thoughts - but have none of you ever used any other web based email? They _all_ have issues, and many of them far worse than the minor annoyances illustrated above. I have no idea why it doesn't leave beta phase, it's just as stable as anything else out there.

    One thing Google needs to do - learn to reign in account control, but it's likely too late already - I belong to a slew of mailing lists that explicitly deny GMail for subscription. Guess that's what happens when you invite the planet to join.....

  11. I think they should just take off the BETA because it is fairly pointless.

  12. Beta for Google means to legally protect any undesirable circumstances that may occur on their new email system.

    Whatever said and done, Google is an innovative solution makers. Google search killed the AltaVista, Yahoo and many other Search sites of those olden days.

    Today Gmail is killing the Hotmail and Yahoo…

    The best of Gmail is its easy and clean interface, discussion form like arrangement of emails, “don’t sort but search” concept providing enough space and search technology and most importantly though they inject ads in every page, you rarely notice it.

    I like the beginning of the Gmail itself, they offered the bigger space 1GB (at that time) while they did not give it free for all, I still remember how difficult it was for me to get my first “Gmail Invite” to create my first Gmail account.

    For sure, as long as the same innovative thinking heads are with Google, you will always find good service and products from this company whom I always admiring of, so I am not bothered of that tiny gray color ‘beta’ next to Gmail logo.

  13. Gmail such a great service, the loading time is fast, no ad's,clean and beautiful interface...

    but am afraid that soon as the beta finish... it's gonna be filled with Ad's...

    i hope not ^-^

  14. So you didn't notice that Gmail has ads? That's interesting. They're text ads related to your messages and you can find them in the right sidebar.

  15. And with customizegoogle extension for firefox, you can remove all the adds, and switch to secure mode.

  16. Something can be in beta for years together? Is this just a way to ship unfinished code?

  17. I think Google will release gmail as paid service so no more freebies just truly making money once build branding.Money making machine nothing else.

    In chrome they are collecting all information anonymously and from that they just want to control user and drive user mind to Google's policy by getting more power.

    I am not hating google but I am tired of it.
    just need some changes.

  18. 5yrs and still in beta. I wonder how long it'll remain free.

  19. With all due respect, BETA is BETA. Gmail continues to fail to send - most of the time - to Exchange servers, though administrators around the world test and test and test their Exchange servers, only to find them to be perfectly properly set up. Mail from everywhere else arrives fine, but mail from gmail doesn't.

    Google is obviously still testing gmail, since mail from _some_ gmail servers succeeds, while mail from _other_ gmail servers doesn't.

    Google succeeds at some things, and fails at others. With gmail, they're not done yet.

  20. Google has frequent updates if you see Goolge labs provide experimental updates which can be added on interest base, and some of them are released in experimental base.. So google is constantly trying to upgrade their mailing service for better usability, So there will always be some ideas for betterment and always be updates so to test in real time scenarios is important to do this they must and should be done on BETA version so that is the reason...

  21. I hope that google figures things out. because i would like to continue using their service. i do like the layout and customization. but don't like the fact that sometimes i don't get mail right away, or that the filters don't work sometimes. i wish that you could include a non gmail account with your gmail manager preferences. this account is coming into my gmail but it doesn't read in manager as 1 message for ... i would not like to see gmail go to a system of paying for their system, but i think that they should clear up some technical issues to make it run a lot smoother. i know they can at least do that.

  22. Even if it's still in its BETA phase, it's one hell of an e-mail service. Server downtime or whatever you want to call it doesn't occur that often. In my opinion Google is doing a good job with its e-mail. Every e-mail provider has it's pros and cons and server maintenance and what not once in a while. And I think the word BETA is just semantics. I've come across a lot of programs and games that were still in its BETA phase, that lasted almost as long as Gmail now. Either way, Gmail is better than Yahoo or even Hotmail.

  23. I think Gmail will leave the beta soon.Then you will get a message that you have to pay $100 per year to continue their service & Thank you for being such a Lab Rat.

    Just kidding..Gmail is the best mail service ever but being beta many years Making me crazy.

  24. what. It is the best email program around!

  25. I agree - Gmail rocks.

    But if they do go down the "You now need to pay" route, it will be interesting to see how they go. Sure, it's better than the other free mail services, but is it so much better that someone will actually pay for it? Remains to be seen - I probably wouldn't... it would be back to a free account and downloading mail locally...

  26. All this talk about which email is better than another is crazy...

    So you send some text from your computer to another. I fail to see the big deal...

    Any frills are just frills. Email is supposed to let you communicate to people around the world. All email services do that. So, I just don't see how or why folks get so excited over an email program...

  27. I LOVE Gmail! I ALWAYS get my messages. They NEVER have gotten lost for me. I was with Google for a while then jumped to Hotmail because I thought that Gmail would close down one day since it's in Beta still. But I had no idea until now that Gmail Beta has been around for years.

    I tell you honestly, Hotmail is second best. My own IP email gets blocked and lost frequently. Yahoo is the worst! When you email someone with Yahoo your message goes in like a black hole and it might come out and go to your destination but most of the time it's sucked in and never comes out. Hotmail is okay but I still don't get emails once in a while. With Gmail, I get every email and instantly. I've tested it myself. I've had 2 top IP companies and their email has failed from time to time. But not Gmail. Gmail is the best by far.

  28. Any word? It's been 2 and a half years since the OP.
    We can has no baytahs nemorez?

  29. i love mobile me!!!!!!!!

  30. though it is still beta, I ve been enjoying a lot :D

  31. For what it's worth, I have never had an issue with gmail. Have my account at least 3 years now.

    As for why it's in beta? Ask Google. But - who cares? It's the best free mail service out there and I've been using it for so long now I can't imagine using an alternative.

    Kudos to Google for providing yet another fantastic free service.

  32. Gmail rocks!
    Been using it since ealy 04 and have had 0 problems.

  33. been with gmail from 2004
    when i begged my friend to use his only invite
    have nevewr had a problem untill yesterday when i got an error 500 msg.

    mixed emotions

  34. I've never had a problem with gmail, had it since 2004. I have been using it ever since and can't see myself turning to another mail service in the near future.

    I'm not sure why, but the fact that it's still in beta annoys me to some extent. It just looks like an excuse for google to say "what do you expect? it's still in beta!" in case users encounter any problems.

  35. Thread started in 2006 and still beta in 2009, program started in 2004. That's embarassing for Goog.

    The email works fine, it's just some kinda ugly. Much prefer hotmail for following threads. There's too much blah de blah in goog threads.


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