Blog Post

Happy Birthday, Gmail!

gmail-cake2Gmail turned five years old this week. It’s somewhat amazing to think we’ve only had it since 2004; Gmail changed the webmail game forever by offering features we now take for granted: a streamlined interface, powerful search, pioneering use of Ajax and a then-huge 1 GB of mailbox space (other webmail providers, like Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, were offering just a few megabytes’ worth). “You’ll never need to delete another message” was how Google (s goog) described it at the time.

Back then, I was still making do with Hotmail. But its clunky interface and paltry amount of storage space (just 2MB!) made the decision to move on an easy one. Getting an invitation code to Gmail wasn’t easy, but getting an account made all the difference in the world to my email experience. Suddenly I was freed from having to delete emails every few days to make space in my mailbox. And the app was slick and responsive, like a desktop client — and blazingly fast in comparison to Hotmail. “Conversation view” and using labels instead of folders took a little getting used to, but in all Gmail felt far more professional and made me much more productive.

Gmail is a favorite app of ours over on WebWorkerDaily, and with good reason. It’s still the best webmail client for web workers as it lets us access our email whenever and wherever we need to, on any device, with minimum fuss. And Google hasn’t spent the five years sitting on its Gmail laurels, either, but has introduced improvements to the service that include Gmail Tasks (which, while simple, is powerful enough to use in a GTD system), chat, video chat and voice chat, integration with Google Calendar and Docs, Google Apps for Domains, and, of course, even more storage. We’ve recently covered the slew of new productivity-boosting features found in Gmail Labs: a way to “undo” sent messages, using canned responses for smart autoresponders, offline support using Gears and how to customize the way you view your mailbox using multiple inboxes.

So many happy returns, Gmail; you make my life as a web worker so much easier. One thing still bugs me, though — five years in, isn’t it time to remove the “beta” tag?

How has Gmail changed your life?

49 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Gmail!”

  1. I love you gmail- I can’t imagine life without gmail. And I’m surprised to meet people who don’t use it – who are these crazy people?

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Krishna Baidya

    it is still fresh in my memory how I waited to get a invitation …. what made me switch? free storage in GBs when all were talking in MBs changed the whole game for me …since then I have not deleted any times i also use gmail as storage space …. then i got hooked with its simplistic approach to things, the interface, other related google apps etc.

    Long live google and its creative forces …. keep up the good work :) And I hope you don’t turn out to be a monster in future when we all are too dependent on you.

  3. sudhakar

    Hats off to you Gmail and i thank you for this opportunity to share my best wishes on this great occasion.Wish you success whenever you undertake ventures.

    with lots of love to you and your entire team



  4. Happy Birthday Gmail. I was using hotmail a few years back…but when they deleted my emails whenever they felt like and got rid of the ‘sent mails’ whenever they fancied, I stopped using that shit! The warnings they sent me sounded like a threat and it was when I just left it gmail came along and my life changed..

    I love Gmail…

  5. i have been using gmail since 2004 and can’t think of any other mail now. my life will be derailed if i don;t have all the gmail features present. can’t say how much it means to me. i wish all the best to gmail and wishing to see many many more happy years to come. lots of love to gmail team.

  6. How I feel happy and the greetings bubble up from the depth of my heart, none could feel. Google, you are my life, my love ,my daily servant, my daily master and finally you are my Telescope and Microscope. May hundreds and hundreds of best wishes reach you.

  7. a few years ago i had trouble downloading picture on my sprint phone, Thanks Gmail for giving me that oppurtunity to be able to save all my pictures so i can transfer them to my card. And want to say Happy Birthday Gmail and truly apprieiate all it has done for me.

  8. Nutan Mathur

    At 58, I thank you GMAIL from the bottom of my heart for connecting me to the world at large. I wish you today many many………… years serving the people of this world and distributing happiness-a rare commodity today.

    Long live GMAIL!!!

  9. victoria okyere


  10. Sachin Shah

    Way to go GMAIL ..5 years on and it’s still rocking the webmail-world… With one of the best spam-filters in place and the first one to come up with chat inside the inbox itself..and loads of other stuff, all for free… GMAIL truly deserves it’s place in people’s heart..
    My wishes to a wonderful application from Google, changing people’s life around the globe..


  11. Kishore C Parekh

    Happy Birthday GMail!! Ihave been using gmail since last five months, it is
    very much useful in sending messages in seconds and receiving reply in seconds. Thank you very much gmail.

  12. Heyyyyyy GMAIL I wish u d best of luckkkkkkkkkkkkkkk fr ur future …………………………………nd Yes HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Rishikumar

    “Happy Birthday GMAIL!!” To have come this far, in just 5 five years is mind-boggling- Just shows the depth & breadth of thinking & execution by the Founders.

  14. Another year is a happy gift,
    So cut your cake, and say,
    “Instead of counting birthdays,
    I count “hits and ratings” every day!” :D

    Happy Birthday, Gmail :)

  15. Sidharth

    Have been using Gmail since end of 2004 . Cant imagine using any other email system. There is so much to gush about but the thing I love most about Gmail is the SPAM FREE INBOX. I get a spam message in my inbox probably once in a week. Gmail rocks. 5 years from now people will be gmailing just as they are googling now.

  16. Esther

    I LOVE gmail; and I’m really happy about it’s birthday.I’ve just started, but I already think it’s the best way to communicate online.It’s amazing.It’s also amazing that it’s only 5.It’s so pro-like it seems like it knows us.It’s amazing, and I think it deserves the people who r using it.-It is awesome.So…GO GMAIL!!!

  17. Many many Happy Returns of the day Gmail….. Love u soooo much….and google tooo. I sometimes wonder how would be life without google,thank you for being there 4 everyone….. Once again happy b’day gmail…keep up the good work!!!!

  18. Taylor

    I lovvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee GMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY BIRTHDAY! GMAIL! LOVE YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Happy Birthday Gmail, well deserved. How Hotmail and Yahoo Mail ripped us off by charging pop up forwarding and for extra storage, glad Gmail came along and has added tons of features. The Labs feature is a blessing in disguise. Thanks Google, keep up the great work, hope you do the same for other Google services also.

  20. as nice as gmail has been… i wonder why they havent introduced features that make wading through emails, attachments and the associated social graphs/links easier. It is time to Xobnify or Xooptify Gmail.