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Google Beta Testing "Gmail For Your Domain"

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the google-google-everywhere dept.

Google 283

ndansmith writes "Google is looking for organizations to beta test its new hosted email service. From the information page: 'This special beta test lets you give Gmail, Google's webmail service, to every user at your domain. Gmail for your domain is hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software for you to install or maintain.' The beta test is limited, but Google is accepting open applications."

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283 comments

Maybe if they offered IMAP (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694326)

POP is soooo 90's.

Re:Maybe if they offered IMAP (3, Insightful)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694358)

Yeah, I am with you in some respects, but how do you reconcile IMAP with the GMail's way of creating "folders" (labels)? You'd end up downloading messages (or at least headers) multiple times and with 2.5GB of storage, the bandwidth required will be insane.

On the other hand, what I see as a bigger issue for companies, is the fact that you probably do not want to store your email on some unrelated big corporation's servers.

If they had a gmail appliance however, this may solve both of the above issues - but now you own the software/hardware - going agains google's pitch.

Re:Maybe if they offered IMAP (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694383)

Well, in Thunderbird, I'd just have one big inbox folder, then use saved searches on labels (which I presume Google would add as some sort of standard header). So I could just as easily use my labeling there.

Re:Maybe if they offered IMAP (2, Insightful)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694433)

Well, in Thunderbird, I'd just have one big inbox folder, then use saved searches on labels (which I presume Google would add as some sort of standard header). So I could just as easily use my labeling there.

Yeah, but then how is this different from using POP to do same? The main benefit of IMAP is consistent multi-folder support.

I did not mean to say that it is an unsolvable problem, just one that does not have an EASY GOOD solution, and while I use IMAP everywhere - I do not see immediate benefit of using it with GMail.

Re:Maybe if they offered IMAP (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694507)

Companies have been offering this service for years, USA.net [usa.net] is one example. It is not good for everyone but there are a lot of businesses where this solution seems much cheaper and easier then maintaining their own email system (at least on paper it looks that way). In general, the more spread out your employees or offices are, the more advantage you get by outsourcing your email. I worked at a company with roughly 100K employees spread throughout the world that switched over. I left before it was completed but they are up and running on it now.

Re:Maybe if they offered IMAP (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694645)

Well, most IMAP clients can deal with nested folders, so google could just sort your labels into sets and create a hiearchy containing subfolders for the combinations of labels, say...

Deleted
SPAM
Inbox
-Friends
--Jokes
-Jokes
-Work
--Boss
--Jokes
--Projects

Google would use its awesome powers to work out that Jokes can be a subset of Friend emails and Work emails, and not the other way around.

Re:Maybe if they offered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694638)

It would be even nicer if Google would release a Gmail server software or machine, that way we can have gmail without Google havving access to private information.
lmsjjr rezzen

Do they intend to 'keep' everything (4, Insightful)

tetrode (32267) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694332)

I'd rather keep al my e-mail to my self, as a company...

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (3, Interesting)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694357)

Agreed. I might be tempted to use it for my personal domains, but given their desire to store and archive EVERYTHING I would never recommend it for corporate use if they plan to do this. The issue of e-mail trails in litigation alone would be enough to keep most organizations away from their service.

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (3, Informative)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694437)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't public companies supposed to archive all their corporate e-mails anyway, under Sarbanes-Oxley? Megacorps aren't going to use this service anyway, of course, but I can see it being useful for a mid-sized company to be able to say, "Yeah, Google has all of it."

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (3, Interesting)

TMLink (177732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694601)

Yes, they are, but at the same time Sarbanes-Oxley is a bitch when it comes to who can have access to that same data. I know with how we've been interpreting the law we wouldn't even dare consider this. Then again, I think we've been going above and beyond what is necessary when it comes to SOx, so who knows.

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (1)

Reaperducer (871695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694614)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't public companies supposed to archive all their corporate e-mails anyway, under Sarbanes-Oxley?

I don't think all of them. I know the last three companies I've worked for have all had a 30-day e-mail retention policy. No one was allowed to keep any e-mail, personal or business, for more than 30 days. This was a rule enforced at the server level, and after three or four important memos vanish from their mailboxes, employees quickly learned to print out anything they'd need long term.

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (1)

rob_squared (821479) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694435)

They should do what they do with the rack mounted search appliance. That way you get all the web features of gmail, controlled privately and with your own domain for the addresses.

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694576)

"They should do what they do with the rack mounted search appliance"

They'll do, no doubt about it.

That's only a "beta", you know...

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (2, Insightful)

bromoseltzer (23292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694456)

Understood. The test is whether they will be willing to encrypt all your files on their servers and let you have the only key. In any case, they can index or scarf your e-mail between SMTP reception and encrypted storage, or on the way out to your browser.

Sounds like a loser if you're reasonably paranoid. On the other hand, how many in-house e-mail operations are carefully managed for security and legal liability?

Re:Do they intend to 'keep' everything (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694573)

Yeah, and what happens when they have an "accident" and your company's email is indexed and made publicly searchable via their webpage?

Bad for companies, great for individuals. (2, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694585)

I'd love to have all email for all my domains sent to google, with no need to host my own mail server.

spellcheck? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694333)

Will they have the chinese goverment spell check my e-mails & filter it for spam too?

Google can lick my fucking sac (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694336)

LOLZ

Take that, Exchange (3, Insightful)

SmithSmytheSmith (843884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694341)

If they price this right, it could really take off, especially for small companies. I know we've been considering hosted Exchange solutions for a while and have been putting it off due to the price. And our POP/SMTP based solution is just too clunky. Does anyone think they'll try the all-in-one approach that Exchange provides?

Re:Take that, Exchange (1)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694365)

They may, but I'd rather pay for a service that keeps my information private. I don't need google scanning all my email (and tasks/notes/etc if they do full Exchange type stuff) to market crap to me, and I'm sure that would be best case. The other uses they may find for my data, I'd find even more offensive.

Re:Take that, Exchange (3, Insightful)

Bungopolis (763083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694368)

If they price this right Why are we assuming that there will be a price? By incorporating the domains of organizations, Google will be getting a massively increased userbase to which they can continue to target ads. Hosting 1000 accounts as part of an organization's domain costs Google no more than hosting 1000 regular GMail accounts, so I see no reason to think they would charge the organization (unless they remove the ads).

MS already do this (1)

master811 (874700) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694474)

Well MS already are providing exactly this service as part of their ideas.live.com (its still in beta) but does the same thing using hotmail and works perfectly well. Of course at the moment you are still limited to 250MB storage but that should go upto 2GB (and tbh who needs anymore than that anyway) when they are finished with the new Outlook style hotmail.

Outlook and Exchange (3, Insightful)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694342)

Add Exchange type calendaring and this could seriously hurt Outlook and Microsoft in general.

yeah right (5, Insightful)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694431)

no sane business would outsource there email this way. Outlook as a rich client does a lot more than calendar and email and even small businesses wouldn't (shouldn't) do anything like this. Where is the google helpdesk? where is the google backup/restore policy? who takes the calles when it's slow? who will restore deleted messages? who will verify that email is fitting the corporate policies?

which company would allow people to integrate with a service that shows competitors ads as well as archives and allows you to interface with online chat?

not many that i know or would want to work with if you ask me. Businesses use services that can provide the above or they do it themselves. If it's a mom and pa shop sure it may work for them, but hardly an attack on Exchange if you ask me.

Re:yeah right (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694487)

If the chat is securely logged, then why not?

Its a good way to handle the nitty gritty business needs (two techs in different companies liasing about some technical issue) without being slowed down by mail.

I know a great many issues that can be dealt with in under 5 minutes that because of mails and faxes and even phone calls (describing code modifications over the phone is not efficient) can take over a week to handle.

Re:yeah right (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694520)

internal chat is great.. what gmail offers isn't secure at all. I use SIP chat at most business and love it, won't dispute that. But archiving it an your mail interface at a 3rd party site isn't my idea of "business savy"

What is the matrix? (0, Offtopic)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694533)

Control. The more control google has, the more power google has. Information is power. Be sure of this, google is where the first AI will come to 'life' it will be the head, and the body will be this massive freaking database that google has compiled. Larry Page and Sergey Brin will end up topside of the gravity well, I have to stop rereading neuromancer for the 143rd time. WINTERMUTE CAN YOU HEAR ME ????????? Half of my karma to the first person that can pinpoint the moment in time that I descended from informative to raving lunatic. Well, just a quick game of nethack and I get to come up from the basement for some of mom's meatloaf and some refreshing mountain dew. Aww out of cheetos _again_...
ch ching.

Re:What is the matrix? (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694560)

has nothing to do with google being the borg, has everything to do with the fact Gmail isn't anywhere near the feature list of exchange as the original post had suggested.

i just expanded on the fact that companies wouldn't/shouldn't do this for there own rights. Imagine the day when google gets subpoena and you don't even know about it until your sued for something you stored on gmail?

a public company would be shutdown for using this period.. wouldn't fly with sarbanes.

Re:yeah right (1)

straightcash (950099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694615)

I agree, it may not be able to replace something as useful as exchange, but it sounds a lot to me like you're an admin. :)

Re:yeah right (1)

segfaultcoredump (226031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694619)

There are lots [google.com] of comanies that do exchange outsourcing. You run outlook and connect to their exchange servers. Pricing starts at about $8 per user per month. Yes, thats $96USD per person per year.

Compared to the average discounted cost of an exchange CAL, $96 a year is twice as expensive. But once you factor in the cost of the hardware and the admins to run it, it would make sense for small to mid-sized organizations to outsource this sort of operation. Once you hit about 500 mailboxes, it starts to become cheaper to just bring it back in house.

Now, if google can find a way to offer the service at a significant discount to the exchange ASP's out there (think $1-$3 per month per person) and provide a similar or better end user experience.... Well, then they may be on to something. All they need is an outlook plugin (Both Sun and Novell have one that link outlook to their mail/calendar systems) for those who demand outlook on the desktop and they can easily snag a ton of companies who need email but dont want to invest in an it staff to maintain the email.

Re:Outlook and Exchange (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694657)

Add Exchange type calendaring and this could seriously hurt Outlook and Microsoft in general.

how many times have we heard this one before?

you think your boss wants Google to become the "one-stop" shopping center for corporate records under subpoena? e-mail, contact lists, schedules. it's a gold mine.

the email / office appliance (4, Interesting)

Eric Coleman (833730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694343)

Google offers a search appliance, why not an email and/or web office equivalent? You buy the rack mount brains and hook up some hard drives, and you would stay in possesion of your data/email.

Re:the email / office appliance (1)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694698)

Google offers a search appliance, why not an email and/or web office equivalent? You buy the rack mount brains and hook up some hard drives, and you would stay in possesion of your data/email.

While to you and me, that would make sense, it defeats Google's mission [google.com]: "...to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Part of that is to develop tools to analyze and 'understand' communication between people.

If you can give a chat log, a series of emails, etc' to a computer and have it distill all that banter down into concise, meaningful information, that's a big step to "organizing the world's information," and is precisely the goal of Google Talk and GMail. Keep in mind that Google isn't providing these services because they think we'll appreciate them. It's all so they can have more raw data to sift through in order to further hone the software that will ultimately make their search engine more useful.

Excellent (5, Interesting)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694345)

My small business is dealing with so much spam - plus the difficulty of using several machines to check our mail on - that we're actually forwarding our stuff through Gmail [zawodny.com] in order to filter spam. Not only that, but the interface is far more usable than alternatives we've used [horde.org].

I keep saying "I wish we could use Gmail for our business email without having an @gmail.com in there."

This is very exciting to me.

Re:Excellent (1)

jmilezy (904134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694364)

Heh, and then Google will save all of your corporate emails to their servers... Is that what you really want? Sure they are a great search engine, but obviously Google has breached user privacy by saving our searches and implementing these "new" features in Google Desktop. The last thing I'd want them to do is save my private, corporate emails to their own servers for whatever reasons..

Re:Excellent (2, Informative)

Bungopolis (763083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694400)

It's true that corporate secrets and other sensitive information could be compromised through this program, however I doubt any organization that needs that kind of guarantee would actually choose to adopt it (if they do somebody probably needs to be fired). The primary audience seems to me to be institutions like schools, such as San Jose City College, which is the first to try the program according to the Google Blog [blogspot.com], who can now offer their students a superior service without any cost.

Re:Excellent (2, Informative)

MikaelC (584630) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694416)

Under GMail try:
Settings/Account/Send Mail As...

This allows you to send mail with no @gmail in the 'from:' field. (You are then asked to verify that you own the account you want to send mail from, probably to avoid mail spoofing).

Then just forward your mail from the selected adress to gmail and all should be fine.

Of course people can still identify the mail server the mail was sent from (by it IP) as belonging to Google, but this is only a minor annoyance to me.

Gmails spam filter is the worst... (1)

cybrthng (22291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694492)

its the only one i know that resets itself almost every other week. I regularly have to stop those "Want to be a cop" or "get a date" or "ebay credit here" emails and they come back only 2 weeks later and i again have to retag them as spam.

A good rbl and squirrelmail interface does better than gmail for quick and easy online reading and filtering of email

Re:Gmails spam filter is the worst... (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694514)

Seriously? For me it is FAR better than anything else I use.

Re:Gmails spam filter is the worst... (1)

dickens (31040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694685)

I used to think it was pretty good, but it seems to have deteriorated.

I got about fifty pump & dump spams each beginning with "A MAJOR PR CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY FOR" and kept getting them for the next few days. One would think that one would be easy to pick out. Also I get them with "st0ck" in the body all the time. Should be a dead giveaway.

Re:Gmails spam filter is the worst... (1)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694661)

its the only one i know that resets itself almost every other week. I regularly have to stop those "Want to be a cop" or "get a date" or "ebay credit here" emails and they come back only 2 weeks later and i again have to retag them as spam.

I find Gmail's spam detection is very good; 99% of mine ends up in the Spam folder.

From there I have a script that runs every 30 minutes to check for new Spam in my Gmail account, and pass it through spamassassin.
Depending on the score assigned to it, my script either:
  • Deletes the spam permanently (I never see or have to deal with it);
  • Marks it as read (so I'm not distracted by the unread message count);
  • Keeps it marked unread (so I should check if it's really spam); or
  • Marks it as not spam.

Re:Excellent (4, Insightful)

storem (117912) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694503)

I keep saying "I wish we could use Gmail for our business email without having an @gmail.com in there."

You can actually do this today already. The only thing you need is an e-mail forwarding service for you own domainname. You first forward you@domain.com to you@gmail.com, then goto you gmail account settings. Under the option "accounts" (not available in all languages, but US English will do) you add the email address you@domain.com and make it the default for sending new mail (after account verification).

Re:Excellent (1)

figleaf (672550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694511)

Wow you are routing your business email through gmail.
With google's reputation for logging and tracking everything for posterity I would be very afraid to send my business communication that way.

what they need next (2, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694349)

1). IMAP. Need simplicity of sorting messages in a local client or groupware application. POP is a one-way protocol and less than ideal for this.

2). Filtering or restrictions on some user or ability to review mailboxes

3). guarantee that ability to reset POP download count will be maintained, as business users have an absolute need to make remote backups of their mailboxes

My domain is for me (3, Insightful)

Gyorg_Lavode (520114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694354)

I personally bought my domain simply because I wanted my information to reside on my hardware. I think in the future people will finding giving up control of their information wasn't the best idea.

Re:My domain is for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694594)

But information wants to be free :)

Seriously, though, I agree with you. If I ran a business I would not want all of my email to be accessible to Google. (or anyone else, for that matter). Somehow Slashdot will spin this into the second coming of Christ.

Wow (-1, Offtopic)

mendaliv (898932) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694360)

Someone give me an invite!!!111 I neeeeeeed this new enterprise gMail!

Re:Wow (2, Informative)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694377)

Invites insanity is so over - just sign up.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694515)

Without a mobile phone or .edu email address, how do I "just sign up"? No, I'm afraid the invites insanity is far from over...

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694543)

Why don't you step into the 90's and just buy a cell phone?

How to piss off an entire industry.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694366)

1. Be the size Google is.
2. Offer hosted e-mail with a domain.
3. Wipe out a core part of thousands of hosting provider's business.
4. Laugh that they can't possible complete with your behemoth of a company.
5. Profit!

How long until they offer webhosting too? Don't be evil? Don't make me laugh.

Re:How to piss off an entire industry.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694419)

If the 'industry' wants to compete they should offer IMAPS and SMTP auth, with restictions on cross user forgery. POP3 and insecure MSA's are legacy offerings, put up or shut up!

Re:How to piss off an entire industry.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694470)

Don't be evil? Don't make me laugh. How is participating in the system known as capitalism "evil"? I thought we [slashdot] had, as an information culture, moved past the "that company is big and a corporation, so therefore, it is bad" mentality.

Re:How to piss off an entire industry.. (2, Insightful)

gatzke (2977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694476)


So now competition is evil?

Microsoft abused monopoly power to gain unfair advantage over other in the market.

Is google the only mail provider? No? Then they are not a monopoly.

Are they offering something either better than other offering or cheaper than other offerings? Yes.

Just like WalMart is "evil" for providing cheap crap. They compete. Don't like good cheap crap? You are free to pay extra a a boutique or run your own mail server and thumb your nose at WalMart and Google.

Re:How to piss off an entire industry.. (1)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694532)

GeoCities has had free hosting for a decade. Yet hosting companies are still around!

Re:How to piss off an entire industry.. (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694627)

How long until they offer webhosting too?

Probably not that long, considering they already do it in a limited form (see Blogger) and already have a working business model (Adsense for page visits).

Don't be evil? Don't make me laugh.

How is it evil to outperform your competition and give away free stuff? It's not like Google have a monopoly on domains and bundle free mail hosting with it. If people choose to use Google for their mail hosting, it's because it's better than the alternatives, not because it's the default.

Re:How to piss off an entire industry.. (1)

thechristelegacy (756228) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694691)

This not evil at all. I for one say good for Google for trying to contribute to the community by giving away free services. I have seen nothing from them that is remotely evil. There is nothing wrong with designing the supieror product and making money off of it. Hopefully, this will force other such products and services to make their prices lower and to make better products. Competition is something we need.

Employee targeted ads (4, Funny)

LoverOfJoy (820058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694407)

"I see you are doing personal emails during work-hours. Click here to see what your boss really wants you to be doing!"

Re:Employee targeted ads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694542)

You should patent that idea quickly before google starts doing it.

So let me get this straight... (2, Interesting)

MajorG17 (676534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694413)

The way I read it, you get addresses that use your domain name (e.g. user@xyz.com), but use the GMail system, including storage space and search capability. Sounds nice, but I think I'm already doing that, without some special program:

  1. Set up user@xyz.com
  2. Set up copy@gmail.com
  3. Auto-forward all mail from user@xyz.com to copy@gmail.com
  4. Have copy@gmail.com "Send mail as" user@xyz.com
  5. Read and send your email using copy@gmail.com (with all its abilities), and everyone thinks you're user@xyz.com

Is there a difference between this and the service that I'm just not seeing?

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

inter alias (947885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694449)

Maybe they make it less hassle (global for the domain) by setting G servers up as MX?

(too lazy to rtfa..)

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

szczym (651378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694464)

there is no way to overide "from" in gmail... and that sucks

Re:So let me get this straight... (1)

anjrober (150253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694688)

I completely agree. I do the same thing the parent poster does (and presumably you do) and I hate that the from is from @gmail....If this corrects that alone, I'll go for it.

"on behalf of" problem (2, Informative)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694488)

That doesn't work:

When you send your mail to someone who uses outlook and they reply they see "copy@gmail.com sending mail on bahalf of user@xyz.com" in the from line. That totally defats the purpose of doing it, as not your busness conatcts still see that you're using gmail, and cross you off the "serious clients" list.

Re:"on behalf of" problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694588)

Patently false, if you do it right (changing the From in addition to the Reply-To).

Re:"on behalf of" problem (1)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694620)

The "From:" and "Reply-to:" mail headers are fine - the one outlook looks at to make the "on behalf of" tag is the "Sender:" SMTP header, which gmail always sets to your @gmail.com address. I've never seen any other program use the "Sender:" header, so I guess it's new or nobody's ever used it before.

Re:So let me get this straight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694504)

That means you need to have 2 accounts. With Gmail for domains, you only need to have the domain account. Cutting out the middleman.

I'm currently testing it and I'm unsure how much information to reveal, but this offering gives more control to the site owner than one could get with regular gmail.

Paranoid about Google? (-1, Offtopic)

cpuenvy (544708) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694420)

Get over it people. The sooner you all understand and accept that Google will rule the world, the better off you will be.

Coming soon, Google Thought. Have we yet heard the term Google Crime? It's coming!

Their servers, your data. Not good for most. (5, Interesting)

bbzzdd (769894) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694441)

My company threw a fit yesterday regarding the potential of internal documents ending up on Google's servers via Google Desktop 3.0. The IT department ordered that all copies of Desktop be uninstalled, even though the dubious functionality is turned off by default.

I can't see many large companies trusting Google with their internal email and documents. The ASP model will not be embraced by many. If they were serious about eating Exchange's lunch, they would offer Gmail as a self-hosted solution.

Re:Their servers, your data. Not good for most. (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694494)

If they were serious about eating Exchange's lunch, they would offer Gmail as a self-hosted solution.
The majority of businesses are small businesses lf less than 50 employees. If they have to have 33 "computer people" because they do all their own stuff internally, they're less competitive than their competitor, who has one "local geek" and hires everyone else on an as-needed basis.

A lot of them will look at this and say, "hey, who not?" No more lost email, no more hard time finding it ... we're nt talking technical sophisticates here - we're talking ordinary people who thing that "the Internet == the web," and whose web site is 4 pages of "brochure-ware" that hasn't been updated since the dot-com bust. They'll go for this because it makes sense for them.

Aggh! Typo alert! (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694637)

If they have to have 33 "computer people"

My bad. An extra 3 there. Of course, so many people consider themselves "computer people" because they can actually send an email (thought they can't find the ones they sent, or where the replies went, and their desktop is full of icons from stuff they downloaded and can't figure ut how to clean up ... that ca company of 50 may very well have 33 people who consider themselves "computer people". They are the target for this service.

And when Google get out their web-based document-writing software, look out ... that's the market they're really looking at.

Re:Their servers, your data. Not good for most. (1)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694683)

"The majority of businesses are small businesses lf less than 50 employees. If they have to have 33 "computer people" because they do all their own stuff internally, they're less competitive than their competitor, who has one "local geek" and hires everyone else on an as-needed basis."

But they both are less competitive than the competitor that has one "local geek" that knows his job and can do all their own stuff internally without resorting (except, maybe, some coding, from time to time) to externalities.

Seriously, where is the IT world going if a 50-less company can't do all their stuff with only one (two max: one sysadmin and one helpdesk/hardware) IT people?

"They'll go for this because it makes sense for them."

Even if it doesn't make sense at all.

Convenient (3, Funny)

Council (514577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694451)

I was just looking at forwarding mail from my domain (just to me) through GMail, because I like their interface and I like not having to handle spam filters myself. I was sitting here literally moments ago thinking "how well will GMail handle auto-forwarded spam? It'd be nice if I could use the GMail interface for mail in my own domain." when they come out with this.

So it's as I suspected. The Google Desktop privacy infringements now include picking up my brain waves. That, and time travel, because they couldn't have developed this in 15 seconds.

And, you know, the scary thing is that I just spent a moment thinking "Google reaching into my mind and indexing my memory wouldn't necessarially be evil. It might be helpful, and --" And then I had to splash cold water on my face.

You're a seductive one, Google.

Live.com Custom Domain is great (3, Interesting)

Utopia (149375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694472)

I have been using http://domains.live.com/ [live.com] along with a Live.com mail account.
I love the ease of use and the featuresets live.com provides.
I am going to give gmail a spin too.
But I believe Live.com custom domains will be hard to beat.

GoogleBox hosting (5, Interesting)

n54 (807502) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694475)

I've been wondering for a while if free webhosting (with or without normal domain names) wouldn't be a perfect fit for Google's business model, it would fit snugly with Gmail for domains.

- Google already has plenty of hardware and there might not be much need for additional hardware as becoming a hosting provider would remove the necessity of caching those sites (why cache something you have direct access to?)
- Google text advertising could easily be a mandatory part of any hosted websites (perhaps a minimum of 5 text-ads)
- however there should be no invisible frames, toolbars or similar unless a user/content owner/provider actually wants it (opt-in)
- mycoolsite.google.com or similar (I wouldn't actually expect them to use google.com for this) as free domain names (naturally with Google's control/TOC and approval) as well as support for regular domain names
- the TOC would allow for or mandate that sites do such-and-such for example in regard to robots.txt or better meta-info (and of course the Google-hosted site would have to agree to be siphoned for data)
- Google could sell (or also swap for ad revenue) ordinary domain names as well as different levels of mirroring, guaranteed bandwidth levels, statistics & analysis, increased hosting space and so on. Imo they would be smart to include such as php, python, and ruby by default
- if Google provided/made a micropayment system things would possibly become even simpler if a site was already hosted by Google

Unlimited hosting space as well as (transparent to/readable by Google) database support might actually be the best idea. I'm sure it would blow away plenty of the competitors for those not overly concerned about having Google dissecting every little piece of your website for information on a daily basis.

Doesn't Google already own Blogger? However Blogger is limited in comparison to a normal website. This is but a tiny step really, a win-win situation increasing Google's reach while providing a service essentially for free (just like Gmail).

I'm not too afraid of the internet becoming googlenet :) the above would seamlessly coexist with other solutions imo.

Re:GoogleBox hosting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694521)

Then I'd sue them for stealing my idea (jointly came up with the idea of doing just this 6 years ago but noone was interested in paying for text only ads)

Re:GoogleBox hosting (1)

h2d2 (876356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694551)

I woudn't host with Google unless it's a paid service, *or* I get the same features and ownership I get at my paid webhost. Other than that, such a service would be no different that Google's Blogger bloghost service, with that ugly bar on the top.

And when your connection goes down... (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694478)

you not only lose new email for the duration, but also all your stored email unless you take the step of pop3ing stuff down, and if you do that then whats the point of using this service?

Re:And when your connection goes down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694621)

Webmail is great for people on the go who want to check email at various computers that aren't necessarily their own. Having POP allows for offline access.

I have my own domain where I can check messages in Outlook. The host offers webmail applications so I can check my email while away from home, but the interface isn't as nice as Gmail.

I agree with a lot of people here who want imap support.

This is exactly what I have been waiting for (2, Insightful)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694513)

I'm the web designer in a 50 person company who does our sites, manages our email accounts, and does web design work for outside companies. I've been absolutely dying for google to do this since it occurred to me that they could do this.

This could be a great revenue stream for google if they want to resell this solution on at relatively modest cost to companies of various sizes- it'd unify instant messaging and email for users under that domain, with tracking & search of previous converstaions and emails for later reference, and itd allow normal POP3 use of the account for normal desktop use.

Perfect for... (1)

dbucowboy (891058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694527)

Universities... As of now, that is where Google is testing it. There is an open invitation to Universities who want to be a part of it as well.

IMAP and privacy (4, Insightful)

idlake (850372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694537)

I think for this sort of thing to work, Gmail needs to support IMAP.

Also, they need to make clear and specific commitments to data retention guidelines. It may or may not be a problem for you that your E-mail in your Gmail account could hang around forever, but for businesses, that is an unacceptable risk. E-mail data (like other business records) needs to be retained for a specific amount of time, no more and no less.

Somewhat off-topic question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694562)

I'm interested in email hosting to replace an e-smith server, which has dozens of aliases set up. So I'd need IMAP for two domains, unlimited (or at least a high limit) of aliases, and about ten real mailboxes for each of two domains. Googling for the search terms yields an overwhelming number of hits--any recommendations or endorsements?

Privacy concerns? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14694599)

Nah!!! They are just making copies of documents on your computer for their "search purposes". Wouldn't you feel better having Google "secure" everything for your digital life?

SUCKERS!!!

I just want the software (1)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14694622)

I'll reiterate my digg comment....I really wish Google would "open" their software or something; I just want to install a gmail like front end on my host and connect to my IMAP server. I don't like the idea of all my emails being on google's servers - you could argue that they're on my host's servers, but then I'm paying my host for that service, or alternatively I could always host it myself. But all I really want is a gmail interface for my own webmail. Roundcube has/had promise, but I don't like the direction they are taking in making it a desktop-like web app that imitates Thunderbird.

Why can't someone just blatantly copy gmail in php/mySQL to use IMAP, implement a "labeling" scheme using saved searches or tagging or something, and build on there. Copy what works first, then add some ajax calendaring, and you've got a killer app that people can install on their own.

Dang it, I need more PHP/DHTML experience or I'd do it myself.
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