I finally got down to spending some time with Google’s GMail service and as Mark Williamson describes, Google may have missed a significant window of opportunity to reach the typical consumer.
However, it could still find potential commercial customers by bundling the GMail service as a message server appliance similar to the Google Search Appliance.
Some of the feature sets that I experimented with include:
Contacts: I could not find a way to import my existing contact list
Calendaring Functionality: GMail offers no scheduling or collaborative features.
Archiving: Rethinking the whole idea of folders and storage to facilitate the concept of archiving by flagging messages
Rich Text: Unable to compose messages in rich text.
Virus Scan: Yet to determine if messages are scanned for viruses
Google Power: Full fledged Google search technology powering the service
Converse: The whole idea behind filing messages is built on the idea of conversations. As long as the sender / recepient are emailing the same headers, the message is grouped as a conversation.
The question remains, are we all one massive beta testing group for the new GMail Appliance server?