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WebSite, Design and Web Hosting News - Google Opens Gmail Beta To More Site Visitors
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Google Opens Gmail Beta To More Site Visitors

2005-03-16 13:58:00

Google has begun offering free Gmail accounts to visitors of its main google.com page, the company said Wednesday, but it's not a sign that the Web-based e-mail service is finally moving out of beta and into final form.

According to a Google spokesperson, the San Francisco-based search giant started a promotion earlier this week on its homepage that offers randomly selected users the chance to join Gmail. "We're upping the amount of some types of users," was all the spokesperson would divulge.

Until now, only those invited by Google itself or by current Gmail users could sign up for Gmail. Existing Gmail users won't see the promotion, the spokesperson added. "We're still using the organic method," the spokesperson said, "of allowing current users to invite others to Gmail."

He denied that the move was a harbinger of Gmail moving out of its beta test phase, where it's been since the service was introduced almost a year ago.

Google's Gmail, which first went live April 1, 2004, shook up the Web mail market by handing out accounts with a one-gigabyte storage allowance. At the time, rivals such as Microsoft's Hotmail limited mail storage to two megabytes.

For a time, in fact, Gmail accounts were the hottest ticket in tech, with users selling, trading, and bartering the free accounts. Google eventually banned the wheeling and dealing.

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