Time For Dinner: Email/Gmail Team Leaders from Google, MS, and Yahoo Break Bread With WSJ Writer

Inside Google points us to this interesting read about email services by Lee Gomes at the Wall Street Journal. The article is titled: The Men Who Came To Dinner, and What They Said About Email and reports on a recent dinner Gomes had with email/Gmail team leaders: Paul Buchheit (Google), Kevin Doerr (Microsoft), and Ethan Diamond (Yahoo).

From the article:

The evening wasn't all a Gmail love-in, though. The Microsoft and Yahoo representatives said their many millions of users might not accept some of Gmail's departures from email norms, such as the way the program groups messages into "conversations." The two men also razzed Mr. Buchheit a bit, saying that it had been easy for Google to promise a lot of storage to its users because it carefully controlled how many users Gmail would have by requiring an invitation to get an account.

Indeed, more than 18 months after its unveiling, Gmail is still a beta, or "test" product. But so are the new email versions the Microsoft and Yahoo programmers are working on. And no one is saying when any of the beta periods will be over.

I've been a Yahoo Beta Mail user for several months and love it. In terms of space, I have almost 70,000 messages (many lengthy press releases) stored and haven't even reached the 50% mark in my 2.0GB of storage. I wonder if I'll soon be able to "tag" my Yahoo Mail for better searching?

I'm also looking forward to trying the new Windows Live Mail beta if and when I get an invite. You can follow what MSN is up to in terms of email here and also register for the beta.

I'm also wondering if with its new ownership and the call from Barry Diller to expand the number of employees it has, Ask.com will release its own email service in 2006? Yes, I know Ask Jeeves also operates MyWay.com, which does offer free email, but I'm thinking of a Ask.com branded service that might also take advantage of the "universal mailbox" concept being used by Bloglines.