Much is being written about Gmail, Google’s new free webmail system. There’s something deeper to learn about Google from this product than the initial reaction to the product features, however. Ignore for a moment the observations about Google leapfrogging their competitors with more user value and a new feature or two. Or Google diversifying away from search into other applications; they’ve been doing that for a while. Or the privacy red herring.
No, the story is about seemingly incremental features that are actually massively expensive for others to match, and the platform that Google is building which makes it cheaper and easier for them to develop and run web-scale applications than anyone else.
Very interesting article, although somewhat based on guessing.