Friday, May 11, 2007

The peril of thinking that Gmail (Beta) is in production

For the last few hours, I've been unable to access my Gmail account. Error 502, whatever that is. I'm on deadline to finish an article, and some essential quotes are locked in my inaccessible Gmail Inbox.

Right up there on the Gmail logo, it says "Beta". They gave me fair warning. But I treat it as production, my total e-mail solution, a service I can trust.

My bad.

How many people think of Gmail as an industrial-quality, trustworthy, production service? What are Google's criteria for taking this product, introduced in April 1994, out of beta? When they do, what level of service can we expect?