Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Gmail gives me 1,000,000 megabytes of storage -- for a day

Yesterday, while checking my Gmail at a public terminal at the Tiki bar at the Southernmost Motel in Key West, I was shocked to see that my Gmail quota had grown by a factor of 1000 (red commas added for emphasis):

Wow, the folks at Google are really getting generous! Maybe the Gmail team was thanking me for strongly praising Gmail's client functionality on the local NPR station? Maybe I had too much sun. Maybe that mango daiquiri was a tad strong?

No matter how many times I blinked, Gmail told me I was using 0% of my 1,000,000 MB of storage. That's 1000 * 1000 megabytes -- a terabyte. The correct numbers should be 8% of my 1 gigabyte quota.

Google rocked the world by offering a gig of free mailbox space -- Yahoo is still bragging about a paltry 4 megabyte mailbox as if it leads the free Webmail industry -- but, contrary to Google's claims, 1 gig will hold only about a year's worth of my mail. Between large PowerPoint presentations and 5 megapixel photos, I can fill a gig pronto. (Another free service, Sony's, graciously hosts about 3 gigs of my digital photos.)

But maybe they goofed, and I am now set for life with a terabyte of mail storage? As a sanity check, I called my buddy Mike Zakhem. His quota was the same. Alas, by this morning the Gmail folks had discovered their goof; right now Gmail tells me:

You are currently using 86 MB (9%) of your 1000 MB.

Even at "only" one gigabyte per mailbox, I still think Google faces a major flaw in the Gmail business plan. I can't figure out how Google will keep everyone from signing up for 20 mailboxes, yielding 20 gigabytes of free, reliable, fast, globally accessible online storage.

1 comment:

nathan said...

do you by chance have a gmail invite? i've been scouring the web and i havent had ANY luck. my blogger account is being stingy. maybe because i use livejournal. eh.

i came across your blog from a NY times article or something. interesting.

andtheshow at