I admit to having a gmail account of my own, just like most of you guys do. And I also admit to experiencing a substantially pleasurable mood when I did get my own gmail account. But now that I have it, I don’t really use it. At my bandwidth (or rather the lack of bandwidth), web mail is not usable for any professional or meaningful purpose. And considering that gmail does not offer an IMAP/POP interface for fetching mail, the only purpose I seem to have for my gmail account is to use it as a sort of online brief-case folder (like the one we had in Win95 before MS scrapped it).
I am also sure that most people have their own domain names and therefore their custom mail IDs, often having 200 MB to 2 GB of POP space, and for people who have their own servers on an ISP’s shared or unshared server rack, the POP limit is the free space on the hard disk partition containing the mail spool folder. So, why is it that people make such a big deal out of a gmail account? Yahoo upped their free mail space to 100 MB, and their paid Plus users have 2 GB of POP mail space now. Redif-India upped their free mailbox to 1 GB and paid users get 2 GB. But those sites don’t get the same kind of buzz that gmail does.
Here is what my friend and fellow-MVP Doctor Pavanaja had to say on gmail :-
What is so great about a gmail account? Is it the promised 1 GB mail box? Why should people be fascinated by some firstname.lastname@example.org account when they can have their own domain mails with POP access? I have my own domain, I can download the mails and keep them in my laptop, carry them around; read them in airports, while traveling in a flight etc. These are not possible with gmail. Every time, I have to be online to do anything with the mail.
So am I right in concluding that gmail is just a fashion statement? And a very strong one at that? Your thoughts on this are appreciated.