I don't use Gmail for business, which is a good thing today, given that I have been on the losing end of the intermittent outages that are plaguing Google's free e-mail service. However, I do use my Gmail account for a variety of reasons -- actually, today I was booking travel, so that does kind of count as work -- and man is it frustrating to be without your e-mail for even an hour or so.
And since I absolutely refuse to Tweet about my woes, I'll turn to my old-fashioned, Web 1.x outlet, a blog, to make a couple of points.
- When neo-Luddites (or just fuddy-duddies, if that's how you care to look at it) crab about bothersome stuff like uptime and redundancy as stumbling blocks on the rush to cloud for basic, backbone services, they actually have a point. That's not to say my POP mail account hasn't gone down when I needed it, too, of course. But it's just a nice feeling to have someone who has to listen to you gripe when something critical breaks.
- There is no such thing as free anything, of course -- Google extracts advertising revenue from Gmail, as it does with every other successful initiative it has. But, again, you get what you pay for -- Gmail is a darn useful interface, but it has been pretty buggy lately. Of course, if I don't like it, I can get my money back, I suppose ...
- E-mail is not going anywhere as the central form of business communication.