Gmail to turn five with major new feature?

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Gmail to turn five with major new feature?

Google’s iconic Gmail webmail service is set to celebrate its fifth birthday this week, and the rumour mil has been in full voice speculating that the firm is set to make a major new feature announcement to coincide with the event.

According to reports on tech news site Electricpig, Google is set to make the new feature announcement on Monday.

Although details are sketchy at best, a Google spokesperson is reported as saying that the announcement has “a European multilingual angle to it”.

When Google originally announced the service, on April 1 2004, there were some in the industry who thought the whole thing was an April Fool’s Day hoax, although since then it has grown to become one of the most popular webmail services around.

Google’s move to providing near-unlimited storage, and concentration on usability, with help from Ajax technology, helped change the web-based email market.

However, it has not been all plain sailing for Google. A recent outage caused anger among the community, many of whom used their Twitter accounts to complain about the service, branding it “Gfail”.

And Google has also recently been the subject of regulatory concerns, with the non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic) filing a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission about the security standards of Google’s cloud computing services, including Gmail.

Epic's main concern seemed to be that Google does not encrypt the information held on its servers.

However, despite these concerns, Gmail has continued to extend its reach beyond its core consumer market and gain traction among corporate customers.

Earlier this month, software technology vendor Serena Software announced it migrated over 700 of its staff from Outlook to Gmail in just a few hours, in order to save costs and improve the productivity of its staff.

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