Saturday, November 22, 2008

Google Apps Gmail Users Screwed Over Again

According to this article:

Google's Gmail Gets Dressed Up In Themes -- GMail -- InformationWeek

we users of Gmail via accounts on Google Apps, a service for which we pay, won't be getting the new Gmail Themes option anytime soon. Not all Google Apps users are Enterprise clients. Many of us are just plain folk like me. Since we PAY for the privelege of GAFYD service, we ought to at least have the choice to turn themes on and off, and the rollout shouldn't be delayed.

The other kick in the teeth is that, although Themes may not be being rolled out to Google Apps Gmail, there have obviously been some changes, because the great "Gmail Redesigned" skin that's part of the Better Gmail 2 Firefox add-on no longer works (and the timing is just too coincidental to the themes rollout announcement, which also mentioned other changes to the basic mail interface. So, if these changes were rolled out to GAFYT Gmail accounts, why not themes?) To make matters worse, the servers for Gmail Redesigned's creator, GlobexDesigns, have been down due to a severe electrical storm, so, even if they have created a fix, it's not accessible yet.

This isn't the only issue. Many individual users like me, who already had regular Gmail accounts were lured into creating Google Apps for Your Domain accounts by the promise of guaranteed uptime, and certain features not available to Google's many free users. We all quickly discovered that we couldn't use our Google Apps accounts to access many features normally available to the free users - like iGoogle, Google Reader, Blogger, Picasa. We also couldn't connect or link our free and Google Apps email accounts. This problem still exists today, and hasn't gotten any better.

Not than I'm any great fan of Microsoft, but I haven't noticed any issues using my Hotmail account to access all the new services and features (Windows Live, Office Live, Mesh, etc.) Hard to believe MS is actually doing something ebtter than Google. Maybe what Google needs is something similar to MS's premium accounts - which is something between a free Hotmail account and an Enterprise account. Yahoo offers similar service. So why not Google? Nope, they made us all sign up for Google Apps to get premium services, and but didn;t give us all the free content already available to us. Get with the program, Google. Or many of us just might be switching over to Live, or Yahoo.

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