Initially used as an internal e-mail client for the Google employees, G-mail – a web based free mail service from Google is now dominating the e-mail world in India.
G-mail was launched on 1 April, 2004 with 1 gigabyte of storage capacity. However, the access to this service is strictly through invitations which are sent occasionally to Gmail members, which they could extend to their friends. Despite its invitation-only status, it became a valid standard for email addresses across the globe within short time. Later the storage capacity was doubled in the following years, and today Gmail is providing more than 7 GB of storage per account, allowing the users to transfer heavier file sizes. In 2006, Forbes magazine declared Gmail as the best web mail.
According to comScore (August 2010), Gmail has 260 million users across the globe making it the third largest web-based email service provider. However, in India, it dominated global giants like Hot mail and Yahoo mail, with 62% total Gmail market share. This is twice the number of U.S market which is just 29%.
Gmail is important for Google, because it’s an opening door for many of its services: Google Talk (integrated as Gmail Chat), Google Calendar (you can send and receive event invitations), Google Docs (open attachments), as well as a way to share a contact list with other Google services and a way to keep users logged in.