Gmail Finally Open to Everyone!

Dennis Faas's picture

Alas, Gmail's day has come!

Google has finally decided to nix the "by invitation only" requirement and allow anyone interested in Gmail to sign up for a free account. Google has been phasing out the invitation restriction geographically, beginning last week with Europe. This past Wednesday, North America, South America, and Asia all gained restriction-free access to Gmail. (Source:

Although the nearly three-year-old service is still in beta mode -- signaling that Gmail is still a work in progress -- lifting the invitation restriction is a big step for Google. Keith Coleman, Product Manager for Gmail, said "it's a pretty momentous time for Gmail." (Source:

Google co-founder Sergey Brin agrees. Making Gmail widely available is key to the company, since many of its other products, such as instant messaging and calendar management, are integrated with Gmail. As Brin notes, "It has become a real cornerstone for us." (Source:

Much of the appeal of Gmail comes from its generous storage capacity. Offering 2.8 gigabytes allows users to store up to 1.4 million pages of text. In fact, when Gmail was first unveiled on April 1st, 2004, many thought it was an April Fools' Day joke. (Sources: and

Gmail certainly is not a joke. Although Google will not specify how many users the service has, statistics suggest that it has usurped AOL and taken over the number three spot, behind veterans Yahoo and Microsoft. (Source:

While becoming the top email provider may not be an easy task for Gmail, the service has certainly raised industry standards. When Gmail first launched, both Yahoo and Microsoft were offering less than 10 megabytes of storage. Now both companies are offering storage in excess of 1 gigabyte. (Source:

Coleman has bragged, "We have already made email better for everyone in the world." However, few can criticize his arrogance. Google sure has a way of innovating their way to the top. (Source:

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