Ben Huszar / Staff reporter
Even 15 years after it’s April 1 introduction, Gmail remains one of the largest and most successful email programs in the world.
Google introduced Gmail on April 1, 2004. Skepticism surrounding the service was high in late March of 2004. A combination of its alleged 1GB of storage, 500 times what Hotmail offered at the time, and slated April 1 release date caused many people to simply take it as a “large corporate April fools joke,” said Harry McCracken, a journalist for TIME magazine.
But, it was released, and it was immediately hailed as glorious by users. Gmail blew all of its competitors out of the water almost immediately. Its revolutionary inbox design, easy-to-use interface and a huge amount of storage made the service an almost instant success with consumers. It was one of the first cloud-based computer programs, which was unheard of in the early 2000’s.
Saying Gmail had an unpleasant start to its existence is an understatement. Being in development for over three years whilst undergoing constant scrutiny about its unrealistic promises from weary employees, investors and beta testers, the service seemed destined to flop on release or even worse, never release at all.
Over 15 years Gmail has hardly changed its interface design but constantly added new functionality to integrate with their other cloud service offerings, like calendar, hangouts and Google drive.
All other email services have since adopted the simplistic design philosophy, most notably the conversation based grouping of emails.
Gmail forever revolutionized how we communicate. From it’s precarious start in 2001 and its laughed-at release in 2004, to 15 years later, being the largest email service in the world with over 1.5 billion registered users. Gmail didn’t have to be flashy or excessive to be successful, it was simply the best. From schools to parents to companies to governments, Gmail has been used the world over, and doesn’t seem to be planning on retirement anytime soon.