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AOL Mail Team Mocks Gmail  (View post)

Teodor Filimon [PersonRank 3]

Saturday, November 1, 2008
15 years ago6,608 views

This is uncalled for. Sidebars and built-in stuff are common these days, what are they suggesting, that Google doesn't offer them? I think it's Halloween, not April Fools'. So in the context of this letter, where does the GMail – AOL collaboration stand? Is that 'one-sided'?

Jon M [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

The comments in that AOL link are brutal – it's true, AOL is behind the curve, even now.

Zim [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

I don't know, but there's something needless to say: Google is cool, AOL is not.
(in fact, I hate AOL since I was like 9 years old)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

One of the comments, by Deluge:

<<AOL, your open letter is petty and sad.

i love my Gmail. While AOL mail may have various features, there's nothing about my AOL mail that I like. 'Nuff said.

Actually, one more thing: I have a long memory about how AOL was evil to so many people with its billing practices. And how evil some of the customer service managers at AOL have been as I've attempted to resolve billing problems. One AOL customer service supervisor actually laughed at me and told me with great glee that he'd refer my account to a collection agency and try to trash my credit, rather than try to understand and resolve an error on AOL's side.

AOL has caused me a lot of aggravation and frustration in the past. I've had nothing but good experiences with Google services, they make my life easier and better.

Remembering that AOL customer service supervisor laugh at me with that evil laugh, I say AOL is getting what it deserves in the marketplace.

The customer can fire everyone in the company from the chairman of the board on down, simply by going elsewhere. Which I, and many other people have done.

Buh-bye, AOL.>>

(I can confirm the bit about billing practices. They completely locked me into a trial ages ago and then wouldn't stop billing me and it was a pain trying to get out of it.)

Dave [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Gmail is better. Nuff said.

Merv [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

AOL blows.. lol

Cathy [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

AOL is the worst. period! Their customer service skills is in the toilet. They just thought they owned the mrkt and could treat people anyway they liked. They are getting exactly what they deserve. This letter is the exact way they also deal with their own customers.

Anonymous [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

That's really immature.

Spliff [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

AOL actually has fantastic products. They are really ahead of its time. The past bad press has put much of this good work in the toilet. They still have the best programming offered by any portal. But who goes to portals these days?

DPic [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

I think that post just made the world hate AOL even more. Great job AOL-- you see why you fail and Google wins? Pathetic.

Mrrix32 [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

Firstly, I don't think AOL gave away over 7GB of storage.

Secondly dosn't Google own 5% of AOL?

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

I think AOL is a pretty cool guy. eh mocks google and doesn't afraid of anything :)

Raizel [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

I just can't believe that AOL really did this. It needs tremendous courage.

DAN [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Isn't AOL search provided by Google ;/

blithe [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

Whether or not AOL sucks, the point remains: Google copied, rather than innovated.

Actually, that brings up a bigger point: How much really innovation does Google really do? Their AdWords business model (the only real thing on which they are making money) was copied, from Overture. Things like Google Earth were acquisitions (keyhole) rather than developed internally. Lots of other examples possible.

One could argue, convincingly even, that Google's copies are ultimately much better than the original. Google does much better on the execution of the idea, than the original developers of the idea. So ultimately Google still deserves respect. But AOL's point remains: Google is often not the original innovator on a lot of the technologies that it releases.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

> Google copied, rather than innovated.

No, I believe in the grander scheme of user interface evolution, software makers *mutate* ideas, they don't generate exact copies. And there can be a lot of innovation in that space, and sometimes things get ping-ponged (like how other webmailers started to copy Gmail's large storage). Google's press releases are sometimes boasting and pretending there were no products in their space before, sure. But otherwise this is how culture and science works – we build on what was there before us and try to improve it. Just like AOL did, by the way... or do you really believe they originally and single-handedly came up with all the stuff they suggest in that post?

blithe [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

No, of course AOL didn't invent every single thing that they suggest.

But I am sick and tired of a society in which our main way of communicating with each other is through boastful press releases that make little or no acknowledgment of the past. Google is supposed to be a "different" kind of company. It's annoying that they are not. AOL is just pointing this out.

Oh, and can we then say that Microsoft "mutated" the Apple GUI, and that was ok?

Someone needs to give all those rabid Apple fanboys the memo, because they certainly don't believe it :-)

Mysterius [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]blithe: Sure, just like Apple "mutated" its GUI from Xerox PARC's Alto GUI. ;)

I'm sure the good programmers at AOL today are sick of being burdened with the legacy of AOL's customer-support-hell past. But, well, you get what you sign up for.

Surely they're aware of AOL's reputation? Well then, surely they understand that they're going to have to do a *lot* of work to overcome that, if it's even possible.
It's really unfortunate for innovative AOL employees today, but no less true.

And bashing Gmail is not the sort of corporate behavior that wins points.
If it had come from an individual, that's another matter.
If it had been less caustic, it could even have been wryly acknowledged.
But such a bitter post from the company press? Not cool, at all.

But for the final nail in the coffin...

AOL, if Gmail is a rip-off of AOL Mail, what was AOL's portal design?
Grand theft Yahoo?

Jer [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

I saw this on the AOL comments.

Is this a real AOL site?

Check out the tour link – you'll see enhanced by google on the screenshot...

Reah Guevarra [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

Yeah, it is true, there is enhanced by Google inside AOL's mail, that's for the web search. How ironic isn't it?

blithe [PersonRank 1]

15 years ago #

[put at-character here]Mysterius. Yes, yes. We all know about PARC->Apple->Microsoft. That was my point. Apple (or at least all the Apple fanboys) pretends that it invented GUIs, or at least that it innovated them into existence, the same way that Google pretends that it invented some of these email things. There is very little official acknowledgment of the products and services and ideas that had come before, from either Google or Apple. And that is very, very annoying.

solomon jacob herscovitch [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

However, Google does not append an advertisement on every message sent, as AOL does (even for paid customers).

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

> However, Google does not append an advertisement on
> every message sent, as AOL does (even for paid customers).

Exactly! Another innovation that AOL introduced before Google.

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

<< However, Google does not append an advertisement on every message sent, as AOL does (even for paid customers). >>

There's an option for that in Gmail Mobile App and it's enabled by default:
"Sent from Gmail for mobile |".

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

15 years ago #

At least for mobile emailing this can make sense, just so that the other person may understand why you were so brief in your mail, and not mistake it for impoliteness...

Terry force [PersonRank 0]

15 years ago #

My daughter is missing and I'm trying to reach her and I can't send e-mail cause you guys want to secure my e-mail and test my vision. U SUCK

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