I got an email from the “Do No Evil” company today, welcoming me to “Inbox” — and assuring me that “Inbox” wasn’t something that was intended to replace Gmail as we know it. Among a few other items in the email were these gems:
Can I still use Inbox & Gmail?
Of course. All of your email is still in Gmail and always will be, but Inbox works best if you go all in.
Is Inbox going to replace Gmail?
Don’t worry, Gmail isn’t going anywhere. Inbox is a new experience designed and developed alongside Gmail.
Google desperately wants to kill Gmail. “Inbox” is their 2nd attempt. (BTW, did you notice how the first snippet above contradicts the second one?)
I need to answer some questions I’m sure you have by now.
Q) Why do you think that Google wants to kill Gmail?
A) Google makes its money being the intermediary between you and the web. They basically want to own the web, and rent pieces of it out to you and me. Gmail hasn’t provided a way to do that, at least, not yet. Personally, the only intermediation I want from Google is their spam filters — which I have noticed aren’t quite as good as they used to be, which I believe is symptomatic of not wanting to invest the time, effort, and money into something that doesn’t directly support it’s mission of global domination.
Which means, in turn, I am slowly migrating away from all things Google. Including Gmail. I still use it as a collation/spam-filtering/web-access tool, but I’m in the process of learning how to accomplish those things outside of Gmail.
Q) Why did you sign up for “Inbox” if you are so negative about Google?
A) I wanted to see what the hoopla was about. Their first attempt to move Gmail to more intermediation was those category tabs that were designed to replace filters — and make it more difficult to run email lists without paying tribute to Google. I noticed about the same time that Gmail filters stopped working reliably, which I do not think is a coincidence.
Since the first attempt to impose intermediation on Gmail was about as popular as a turd in a punch bowl, they have completely redesigned their takeover of your inbox, following the model that they used to make Gmail so widely-used about 15 years ago — the “limited subscription invitation” model. I have to admit that it was a stroke of marketing genius which caused just about everybody I knew to go around begging for an invitation.
It seems to be working this time around, too, at least for now. Since I’ve had a chance now to see how it really works, I can see that it is roughly the same as the first attempt to kill (or at least make it easier for them to “moderate”) Gmail, but with an updated GUI and the change to marketing tactics that served them so well when they first started Gmail.
IOW, they are lying.
Note to Google: Lying is Evil.