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GMail code hints at coming domain feature

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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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?

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.