Saturday, April 02, 2005

Subtle April Fool's joke: Google doubles Gmail's 1 gigabyte quota - slowly

Google first announced Gmail, with 1 gig of storage, on April 1, 2004. The April Fool's Day announcement was so stunning no one believed it.

This April Fool's Day Google announced it would double the quota to 2 gigabytes. That's actually less stunning than the 2004 announcement. The cost per gig of disk contunes to fall. What stunned people in 2004 is the cost to back up your mailbox. For an interview last year a Google rep told me that "we don't do a lot of tape backup."

That was a subtle answer. Some speculate that Google has built a global, reliable, self-healing, replicating file system -- one that needs no tape backups at all.

Google had fun with the quota change. They didn't just give people 2 gig; they updated the quota dynamically throughout the day. I started the day at 67% of 1 gig, then fell to 50%. It's now past midnight Mountain View time and I'm not quite up to the 2 gig limit.

Props to my colleague Matt Kolb for getting the subtle Google joke that whooshed right over my head....

Now for the actual Google April Fool's joke.

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