I’ve been long-time Gmail fan, having used it from the very early days, for almost 5 years now. The key reasons why I switched and have stuck with the service ever since were the productivity boosters, first of all:
- Threaded conversations
Google did to email what all new product teams should: throw away all known concepts, start from fresh, figure our what the system should really do, instead of delivering a customary system with minor improvements. Instant success. Instant Customers. No, correct that: instant users. There is a difference. Apparently not everyone likes “radically new”.
Observing the email (Gmail, Zoho and other) usage of several people and I was surprised that even in Gmail many only had just a few items in a conversation thread. My folders labels are full of threads with 30+ entries each. I’m a productivity-maniac freelancer, part of a few hyper-active discussion group, but not everyone’s usage pattern is like mine… In fact I also had to realize that I don’t really represent Google’s or Zoho’s paying customer base. Sure, freelancers, bloggers..etc can generate a lot of hype and get enthusiastic about change, but the real money is in those “boring” businesses that are willing to pay, but don’t really want to change. Corporate employees live in Outlook, whether they like it or not is almost irrelevant, they often (or their employers) resent radical change.
All folders are labels, but not all labels are folders.
Really. Read the details here.
Finally, today we’re learning Conversation view can be turned off.
OMG! Is that the End of the World, or what? The Outlookization of Gmail. How horrible. They’ve taken away all that’s good in Gmail! But thankfully, these are just options: productivity maniacs can continue to use the Good Old Gmail features, while the Gmail camp can turned it into Bad Even Older Goutlook.
OK, I am being snarky here. I suppose it’s all about financial realities and what the real world wants: you can be innovator, but if you want to sell, you better listen to your customers. (For clarification: customers are those who pay. That’s not me ). Welcome back to Earth, Gmail! I for one am happy the “new” old way is just an option and conversations remain, otherwise I’d have to switch again – and that would be a major pain.
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