Googles Gmail Goes Black for Some Users

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-07-12 Print this article Print

Google's e-mail service, still in beta testing, is inaccessible for some users over the weekend.

Some users of Google Inc.s Gmail service were unable to access their accounts for a few hours over the weekend. A Google spokesman confirmed on Monday that accounts for a "small number" of users were unavailable for a number of hours on Sunday. He declined to specify the exact length of the outage, its nature or how many users were affected. "We have since fixed the problem, and all users can log in and resume normal use of Gmail at this time," he said.
Gmail is Googles Web-based e-mail service that it launched in beta in April. The service is not yet available to the general public but only by invite by other Gmail users.
Sporadic outages are nothing new to Web-based e-mail services. Most recently, users of Yahoo Inc.s Web e-mail service faced sporadic access to their accounts when the Internet company relaunched Yahoo Mail in June. Microsoft Corp.s MSN Hotmail service also has been known to have outages for some users. Google has not said when it will make Gmail generally available. The service drew widespread interest because it provides users with a gigabyte of e-mail storage for free and offers a Web interface focused on searching and archiving messages rather than organizing them in folders or deleting them. Gmail also has caused privacy concerns. Click here to read more. Yahoo and MSN, among others, have responded by increasing their storage limits. Yahoo also is preparing another update to its e-mail service after acquiring e-mail startup Oddpost Inc. last week. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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