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Brin noted that he was "embarrassed" that Gmail's beta doesn't support Safari, but said that they will add Safari support before its public release. "We're going to make it work with Safari and that's one of the high priority things," Brin told MacCentral. "Iíve heard that you can sort of get it to work if you're desperate. I want to fix that, and I want to make it work really well."
Especially if you consider that they are possibly going IPO in the next few days - time pressure could have been an issue.
Though I think everyone agrees its a missing feature..
- emails will be deleted, not kept forever (when user wishes to delete, of course)
- not only ads are displayed, also related web pages
- POP3 & IMAP being considered, as well as forward & collect (it's not there now, apparently)
- beta period expected to last 3-6 months
I like his openmindedness. Others may perceive this as a lack of certainty or conviction, but in contrast, I think it highlights that he's the quintesstial geek: constantly evaluating options and honestly trying to make the world a better place with technology.
Despite the heat Gmail is getting on privacy, Brin says, "I'm not seeing any rash changes to make off the bat." He adds, "I'm nervous about making a change based on feedback from people who haven't had a chance to try it out yet." Brin guesses it will be three to six months before Gmail becomes broadly available.
(Not Yet Another Flaming Paranoidic Article)
Ya, I was invited to beta test it, but since I use Opera exclusively, I couldn't see testing such a low tech obsolete setup...
One could argue opera is obsolete... Is it not more important that the application works for the majority, and not every obscure browser under the sun that no one uses anyways? I'm not picking fights here, just trying to make a point of where does compatability stop? When a browser has 1000 users? 10,000? 100k?
Whoop. You and 1% of the rest of the world. Surely, from a marketing perspective you can see why no one gives a rats ass about Opera.
C'mon... Safari? But they won't release a MAC toolbar? Sounds like PR, the other PR, to me. Priority my arse. Public relations, yeah, I can believe that.
Exactly my thoughts but unfortunately i can understand why they won't release a Mac toolbar but want to make GMail Safari compatible:
- Toolbar: there's already a google search box built into safari. Enough for them from the buz perspective. They don't earn money from pr checkers but from searchers. So they *think* they already cover the mac searchers through the silly search box in safari. No need for a mac toolbar.
- GMail: even if the mac users are just a small fraction of the future GMail users there's some money to loose if GMail wouldn't allow mac users to use it. They'll probably make the bascis of GMail compatible to safari (or other mac osx / unix / linux compatible browsers) - just enough to let the mac users see and click ads.
The Toolbar-No / GMail-Yes thingy is - in my eyes - the best proof that Google is just a big company that wants to make money. If they would be as cool as at the beginning five years ago, they would have already build the mac toolbar to fish for the mac community's sympathy. Now, with GMail, when it comes to loosing money, they remember the existance of Macs ... "Ah there was this niche, this little piece of the market - Oranges? Bananas? Ah, yep, Apples."
Yep, that's embarrassing.
The money is with IE, the Geeks are with Safari and Opera.
The embarrassment is in admitting a one time Geek has become a money Goblin' corporation.
I love to bash Google as I see them as potentially a dangerous bunch of Geeks trying to make it to capitalism intact. A very dangerous transition.
However, in this instance I think they probably got it about right....play for the money first!
I know this is a developer community and people embrace all Opera, etc, but considering the average Google user I dont think the Gmail compatibility is a big deal.
I bet he planted that statement to endear him to our community.
They've begun phasing in support for Safari, too, which rocks my socks. It's not perfect but, hey, beta. (The opening screen still claims "Gmail does not currently support your browser" but if you click through to "sign in anyway", most of the features -- including keyboard shortcuts -- work just fine.)
1% of the rest of the world
1% can be a deceptive number. What percentage of affiliate sales are generated by the top 1% of affiliates? A huge number, possibly the majority. Now, more along the lines of this discussion, I suspect a similar dynamic exists with online influence. A call to action in an "A List" blog can reach many people and have a snowball effect. Also, only a small slice of sophisticated users search for "web hosting" and a long list of high-CPC technical/professional terms. If there is a significant correlation between the "one percenters" who drive the web and the single-digit percenters who user alt browsers, 1% suddenly casts a much longer shadow.