Google offers 1000MB of free email

April 2, 2004

This an old, sarcastic news post from when I was in college. I apologise.

Google Mail Logo

In a decision initially assumed to be an April Fool’s joke, Google has announced GMail, a free email service that offers one gigabyte, or 1000MB, of email storage per user. However, now that the New York Times and and Associated Press are running stories about it, complete with quotes from Google staff, amusement is giving way to shock. GMail’s two main competitors, Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, offer 2MB and 4MB of storage respectively.

“It is completely unfeasible for Google to offer 1000MB of storage space,” said one source for Microsoft’s Hotmail unit. When told that GMail would indeed offer 500 times the storage of Hotmail, he countered that, “obviously there would be loads of banner ads.” When it was pointed out that Google has no intention of doing banner ads, but simply text ads, we were asked, “How do I sign up?”

While Yahoo Mail prepares to switch their marketing pitch from “Twice the storage space of our biggest competitor” to “1/250th of the storage space of our biggest competitor” the question on everybody’s mind is, “how the heck can Google do that?” We asked a panel of analysts to give their opinions. “Google is actually powered by God,” argued on analyst. While Google has neither admitted this nor denied that claim, that would explain their ability to turn a huge profit while providing awesome services for completely free. Another analyst insisted, “They actually use 1GB of your own computer’s space without you knowing it.”

Other analysts’ theories include lying about how much space you’re using, that 1GB is a typo for 1MB, and that there is no such thing as email. One of our analysts in particular was insistent that GMail will fail. “GMail rhymes with email,” warned the analyst. “New users will get confused, and not be able to tell the difference. Chaos will ensue.” While none of these have been substantiated, analysts are generally always correct.

One analyst mentioned, “In unrelated news, Google has won a multi-billion contract with the Department of Homeland Security for an ‘Information Storage and Retreival System’ for national security and awareness purposes.” While we’re not sure what the analyst was getting at there, we’re sure the US Government wouldn’t be interested at all in tracking millions of gigabytes (also known as petabytes) of communication.

Our own research indicates that Google may actually be able to provide this service, as long as they do the following things: track you intesively and sell the information, charge govrnments an arm and a leg to do the same, prohibit emails to and from Hotmail once the service is popular, and pray nobody uses their entire gigabyte of space.

The author of this article really likes Google, but is less of a fan of the FBI being alerted if he uses the word “bomb” in an email.

© Allen Pike. See also Twitter and Steamclock.