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An inbox that works for you
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Posted by Sundar Pichai, SVP, Android, Chrome & Apps

Today, we’re introducing something new. It’s called Inbox. Years in the making, Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters.

Email started simply as a way to send digital notes around the office. But fast-forward 30 years and with just the phone in your pocket, you can use email to contact virtually anyone in the world…from your best friend to the owner of that bagel shop you discovered last week.

With this evolution comes new challenges: we get more email now than ever, important information is buried inside messages, and our most important tasks can slip through the cracks—especially when we’re working on our phones. For many of us, dealing with email has become a daily chore that distracts from what we really need to do—rather than helping us get those things done.


Google rethinks webmail with Inbox, raising questions about Gmail's future
By Juan Carlos Perez Follow
IDG News Service | Oct 22, 2014 11:45 AM PT

Restating a common complaint heard around the industry for many years, Pichai, the senior vice president for Android, Chrome and Apps, railed against email as an application that was useful three decades ago but that has evolved into productivity-destroying beast.

We get too much email, inboxes are time-consuming to manage and the truly important information often gets overlooked in the clutter, particularly when accessing email from smartphones. Google is coming to the rescue, but will it succeed?


Why Google Wants to Replace Gmail
Gmail represents a dying class of products that, like Google Reader, puts control in the hands of users, not signal-harvesting algorithms.

Mike Elgan
By Mike Elgan Follow
Computerworld | Oct 25, 2014 4:03 AM PT


Email was created to serve as a "dumb pipe." In mobile network parlance, a "dumb pipe" is when a carrier exists to simply transfer bits to and from the user, without the ability to add services and applications or serve as a "smart" gatekeeper between what the user sees and doesn't see.

Carriers resist becoming "dumb pipes" because there's no money in it. A pipe is a faceless commodity, valued only by reliability and speed. In such a market, margins sink to zero or below zero, and it becomes a horrible business to be in.

"Dumb pipes" are exactly what users want. They want the carriers to provide fast, reliable, cheap mobile data connectivity. Then, they want to get their apps, services and social products from, you know, the Internet.

このdump pipeって日本で「通信会社は土管屋になりさがる」という文脈にぴったりだと思っていたら、しっかりKDDIの用語集でそのように紹介されていました。

読み: どかん 英語名: dumb pipe

通信キャリアが端末やサービスを提供できず、回線の提供に専念せざるをえない状況を「土管化」と呼ぶ。土管化は収益源の多様化ができないため、しばしばネガティブな意味合いを含む言葉として使われる。なお、英語には「dumb pipe」という用語があり、土管と同じ文脈で登場するキーワードとなっている。


Inbox has many other features.

The bottom line is that it's a more radical mediation between the communication you have with other people and with the companies that provide goods, services and content to you.

The positive spin on this is that it brings way more power and intelligence to your email in-box.

The negative spin is that it takes something user-controlled, predictable, clear and linear and takes control away from the user, making email unpredictable, unclear and nonlinear.

That users will judge this and future mediated alternatives to email and label them either good or bad is irrelevant.

The fact is that Google, and companies like Google, hate unmediated anything.


I'm predicting that Google will end Gmail within the next five years. The company hasn't announced such a move -- nor would it.

But whether we like it or not, and whether even Google knows it or not, Gmail is doomed.