GMail code hints at coming domain feature

GMail code hints at coming domain feature

Summary: Google's GMail has been firing on all cylinders, but it could be on the verge of getting even more horsepower.  Based on information found buried deep within the javascript source, we can start to see the bigger picture for GMail -- what else could they possibly add to this mail client?

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TOPICS: Google
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gmail_logo.gifGoogle's GMail has been firing on all cylinders, but it could be on the verge of getting even more horsepower.  Based on information found buried deep within the javascript source, we can start to see the bigger picture for GMail -- what else could they possibly add to this mail client?

Their next big move will likely be GMail for domains -- a powerful way for anybody who owns a domain to utilize GMail as a mail server, not just a client.   Yahoo has their own small business mail product which does precisely this, and now evidence suggests Google is planning the same.

This is the line from the source that really makes me think this might be in the works:

function vJ(){if(uy){;return'<a class=lc target=_blank href="'+ry+'">'+"Manage this domain"+"</a> | "}else{return""}}

In a line just before this, you can see some code which references "Caribou" -- some suggest this is the code name for future versions of GMail before they are released.

var kQ=ob(["Contact us ...","Report bug","Caribou is slow","Send a suggestion","I need personal help!","Caribou-only features"],5); 

Assuming a new feature for domains is in the making, this is how I see it working.  After deciding to use GMail as a mail server, the first step would be to add an MX record pointing to mail.google.com in the DNS for a domain -- effectively routing email directly to Google for it.  GMail will not automatically put this incoming mail into your inbox as there is no link between that domain and yourself.

In your settings, there will be a tab to manage your domains -- giving you the ability to link domain(s) to your account.  I would guess an authorization email is sent to the administrative or technical contact before it's officially added to prevent random people from adding domains they don't own.

Once a domain is linked, you can then manage email addresses for it by clicking the "Manage this domain" link (as seen in the javascript) when you are logged in as the administrator.  It is likely that the domain email administrator could even set up quotas to best manage the 2GB of space given to them -- unless they are willing to pay for extra of course.

Besides the obvious account management, there are also advantages to a service like this.  Companies can use it as a replacement to Microsoft Exchange as it has the potential to have shared contact lists, shared calendars, instant communication (the new talk feature), etc.  Imagine also the possibility of Google allowing companies to skin their own GMail service -- colors, layout, and even the logo could be customizable.  Of course, even if Google allow this, ads will likely be delivered regardless.

It will be interesting to see if they release a corporate email service soon.  Google has not yet responded to requests for more information -- if anything turns up I will update this post.

Topic: Google

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12 comments
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  • MS is apparently doing this too

    Check out the Windows Live Ideas area. Apparently you can already sign-up for it:

    http://ideas.live.com/programpage.aspx?versionId=11b1081d-cfb0-4511-acb5-55db6b49f7de
    billywill
  • Google will monitor conversations...

    If GMail becomes a hosted corporate email service, then it will dramatically increase it's exposure to conversations within an organization. Privacy will be an issue. Couple the fact that Google is now a domain registrar, I can see the vast knowledge base it will obtain about an organization. It effectively enables a 360 degree view of a company and the people within it.

    Keep one thing in mind, Google is no longer a disintermediated search tool. They are a new media organization that is derives revenue from advertising. It is in their best interest to offer targeted advertising, any way that is just "less than evil".
    tzmartin
    • "Can" and "Will" Mean Two Different Things!

      While it is true that GMail code scans emails for keywords in order to target ads, this does in no way imply that Google is spying on anyone.

      Judging by the past demonstrations of the strong business ethic of Google and the founders, I feel that it's safe to say that Google will not use their technology to snoop around in personal data of its users. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised -- since much of Google software is automated -- if the databases containing this information is off limits to Google employees.

      Just because they have the means to act unethically does not mean they will. Not every corporation is evil and out to get us!

      James Mortensen
      http://blog.opensourceopportunities.com
      jmort253
  • Compete with microsoft

    Maybe they're just getting ready to compete with this http://domains.live.com/
    sigh71
  • Very nice

    I suggested that a few days ago. You can read my full post here:

    http://www.cjmillisock.com/2006/02/gmail-integrated-with-google-talk_07.html
    cjmillisock
  • Great Sleuthing!

    Nice to know what Google intends to do with GMail. As a user of Yahoo's business email product I can attest that the competition will be welcome!

    -Stiennon
    RStiennon
  • I already have it for my domain

    We already signed up for the beta of it and it's fantastic. Decent initial management features and customization. Nice user management capabilities. Greta initial start. We love it.
    clickbrain
    • Who we can contact?

      Our organization would like to use Gmail as our email server i.e. keep our own domain (http://www.njccps.org). I am just wondering who we can contact, normally what's the cost etc.

      Thanks,

      Jiangang
      Jiangang.Luo
      • Have you set up Gmail as your mailserver ?

        Hi

        Are you still looking for this ? In case you are, I can assist you to set this up. Contact me on rajhydATgmailDOTcom.

        Regards
        Raj
        rajhyd1
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