What’s Gmail?

March 31, 2004. A watershed in human history. Google’s web-based e-mail service, still now at the time of this writing in Beta, and available only to people invited by other existing users, was launched. Offering a gigabyte of storage, an incredibly advanced JavaScript interface, and a series of user interface innovations, Gmail was an instant hit among those who could get access to the system. Today, more than a year later, Gmail is proving to be one of the flagship applications on the web—a truly rich application within the browser, combined with the server-based power of the world’s leading search engine.