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Before Gmail took over the world, it belonged to Garfield

Before Gmail took over the world, it belonged to Garfield

Just over twenty years ago, Google launched its own email system, Gmail, which has since become the world's number one email provider. However, the launch was memorable not only because of the disbelief over the gigabyte of storage space that seemed huge at the time, but now seems so small, but also because of everyone's favorite lazy, chubby cat, Garfield.

The name Gmail wasn't the first time Google had thought of it, Garfield's creator, Jim Davis and his team came up with the idea of ​​an email service around 1997 where fans of the comic book cat could register an email address for Garfield. Only on the Internet Archives Available in the form, a short message welcomes those who want to conduct their online correspondence under the name of the anti-two cat.

“Are you looking for a Garfield email address? You are in the best place! Here you can register an email address for free. Here you can get a free email address with Garfield,” the message said.

Today, it is not entirely clear what the purpose of such an account was, but it is certain that a person who registered at an address ending with @catsrule.garfield.com did not get an email account in the modern sense. The address may only be used for some services available on the site. How the Gmail name eventually came to Google has already been lost, the most likely idea being that the company had to buy the gmail.com domain from the Davises.

But the launch of Gmail wasn't really memorable because of Garfield, because the announcement's history was also a clever trick. Some of the company's bosses loved the April Fool's joke so much that the service, which was considered a huge innovation in 2004 and started with 1GB of free storage, was also launched on April 1. This meant storing approximately 13,000 average-sized characters, which was hundreds of times better than Microsoft and Yahoo's solutions at the time, and seemed practically endless.

When articles about the Gmail launch appeared, many readers were so sure it was just another April Fool's joke, prompting crowds to call newsrooms to warn them: They were fooling themselves, falling for the company's joke. As Paul Bouchette, one of the creators of Gmail, recently said In an interviewThis was exactly what the company aimed for. “That was part of the magic, creating a product that was so good that people couldn't believe it was real. Gmail changed people's ideas about what kind of applications were possible for a web browser,” Buchheit looked back on the beginning of the service filled with revolutionary innovations.

The company's co-founder and the creator of the April Fools' Day idea, Mr. Joker Larry Page, promoted the huge storage space to journalists in such a way that when he showed them Gmail, he first pointed out that the delete button on the interface is not an essential function, because it is not needed. Even if there were no storage spaces, the number of Gmail users filled up very quickly anyway, because Google only granted access to the service to ten thousand people in the first days, and as a result, premium users began paying hundreds of dollars for Gmail invitations.

Today, a free Gmail account comes with 15 GB of storage by default, but this space fills up so quickly (especially since Google Drive and Google Photos also use it) that many people opt for the 100 GB expansion available for a few hundred forints per month.

(sources: Gizmodo, TV program)

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