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Saturday, November 1, 2008

AOL Mail Team Mocks Gmail

The AOL mail blog published a sarcastic letter suggesting that Gmail copied various features from them. The premise of the post is that Gmail is “dressing up as AOL" for Halloween:

Happy Halloween Gmail! We knew you would have the best costume at the party, and who can blame you? We think it’s great that you’re using this holiday to pay homage to the one who started it all, who got 35 million people online at once, gave them all email, great content and messaging capabilities, and even created a forum that encouraged them to speak in emoticons.

That costume is fabulous...clearly, the devil is in the details... and what’s that you’ve got there? An “experimental” instant-messaging feature built right into your mail service so people can use it to send text messages to their contacts’ phones? We love it – that was such a hit when we first introduced it so many years ago. (...)

And those sidebar options – talk about getting it right... Adding gadgets to email that allow people to manage their calendars, access their favorite content and best Websites? Nice work. The idea of adding a side panel like that was one of our best. (...)

They say imitation is the best form of flattery, so Gmail, we thank you and we are indeed very flattered. Putting together a costume that is so dead-on could not have been easy, and you’ve got it down pat. Trying to convince all the other kids at the party that the only thing to use is Gmail and putting out a press release every time you add a new button to the service is just so 1998. We’re telling you – this outfit brings back memories!

In other Halloween news, the head of Google’s web spam team Matt Cutts dressed up as Rick Astley this year.

[Hat tip to Gary Burd and Tony!]


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