Will Gmail Go Corporate

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-04-23 Print this article Print

?"> It also compares favorably to my corporate e-mail.
Well, thank you. There are some things that it is currently missing as compared to corporate e-mail—for example, disconnected operation—though we do plan to provide things like POP3 and IMAP support, which should help that.
But we initially wanted to make sure we have something that was definitely better than all Web mail services, and perhaps, just perhaps, it will also be good enough for a lot of people to use instead of a corporate mail service. Or they can use both, because they could just forward their messages to Gmail from their corporate e-mail, or the other way around. That way when theyre traveling and dont have their computer with them, they can just use the Gmail version, and when they are at their desk, they can still use their corporate mail. You mentioned disconnected access. Once youve enabled some sort of forwarding capability for storage, you could hook it up to Groove for access on a plane. Thats an interesting idea. I hadnt considered Groove, but thats a good idea. I know those guys—I should talk to them. Getting back to the privacy issue, Groove uses an encrypted XML store. One of the ways you could provide some clarity about the privacy issue would be to push this data through an encrypted store. You could keep the indexes unencrypted, but keep the rest of the data encrypted. Weve discussed a lot of that—I dont know if youve seen what [Brad] Templeton [chairman of the Electronic Frontier Foundation] has said about encryption ideas—and were looking at a lot of those choices. There are significant technical challenges. I dont know yet how it will pan out. How long do you think this beta feedback process is going to be? I think itll take three to six months or so. Were getting a lot of good feedback; weve already made a number of changes. Probably the big ones are feature requests that we need to deal with, and there are some significant ones there. I dont know how many of those well be able to get in prior to making it more broadly available. Those who are beta-testing it will continue to have access? Oh yes, yes, Im not suggesting that we would shut it down. When will we see forwarding and other interchange features? Those are the big, important ones. The biggest feature requests have been forwarding both into e-mail and out of. Some people dont have a mail system currently that they can easily, automatically forward to Gmail, though there are some third-party solutions which help that as long as we provide the forwarding out. And thats something were working on. Next page: Brin says Google will keep looking at privacy, encryption issues.

Steve Gillmor is editor of eWEEK.com's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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