The hint comes with the release of a new automatic forwarding feature for Gmail, the company's web-based e-mail offering. Released with little or no fanfare on 5 October in the US, the new feature is "free during the test," according to Google's Help Center.
Another new feature, the Gmail Notifier, challenges MSN Messenger by manifesting as an icon in the Windows system tray and advises account holders when their Gmail account receives new messages, removing the need to log onto the Gmail site. Intriguingly, Gmail Notifier also offers an option to make Gmail the default for any mailto: links found on Web pages, with this option turned on after installation.
Other new features include an enhanced contact book and the ability to save draft e-mails, a function previously absent from the Gmail offering.
Google is yet to issue an official announcement about these new services, save for the Help Center page.