Everywhere you look, everyone is talking about Gmail (including me). But what’s amazing to me is that for the most part those who are heralding it have had only the most glancing access to it, if that.
Those who are actually test driving it are … :gasp”… barely whelmed, let alone overwhelmed. Some even…[looks around…whispers]…question it. (For a good example of the latter, see Jeremy Zawodny’s excellent 4/16/04 post on the subject.)
The thing is, what is really underpinning all of this buzz is not the service itself, but the implications for various aspects of the service, such as the perceived privacy issues, the new levels (or depths) of acceptable business practices for an email provider with respect to their users, and the current arms race between the top search&email giants. The bar is being raised here not only in ways which are readily apparent to the casual observer, but in others which are far removed from all but those deeply in the know.
The buzz over Gmail itself will die down soon – but watch for what the next generations bring.