The slugging match between America’s tech giants has gathered pace of late with Alphabet Inc (Google’s parent company) revealing a big revamp to its Gmail service last month. This overhaul is aimed at helping Gmail compete with its leading rival offering, Microsoft Office.
This overhaul has, according to Reuters, take two years to develop and bring to fruition and it’ll make the world’s most popular email service more secure and will give users many more functions – online and offline.
The most expensive update
This particular update will be the most expensive one that Google’s G-Suite has had and if the Mountain View giant is to seriously compete with Office, it’ll need it. Analysts believe that G-Suite’s 2017 revenue was around $2 billion, which is a tenth of the amount Office earned for Microsoft last year.
Gmail will now predict what you want to say…
A rollout coming your way
There’s a big visual shake-up for Gmail web, as well as new functions like email snoozing, nudging and a confidential mode. G-Suite had already added instant messaging and spreadsheets to its repertoire before this latest update, which rolled out at the end of April, with 1.4 billion users receiving an opt-in invitation.
According to Gmail’s lead product manager, Jacob Bank, the overhaul aims to make users feel “safer and more productive”, which makes it all seem like the move is towards business use rather than personal.
The confidentiality mode lets senders apply expiration dates to emails, or completely revoke them if necessary. There’s also Integrated Rights Management, which lets senders prohibit the copying, downloading, forwarding and even printing of selected messages.
Bringing Google’s Tensor processing chips into the mix, Gmail can now offer assistant features like nudges to remind users to reply to forgotten emails, or even suggest replies to received emails.
This move comes at a good time because Alphabet Inc’s latest earning report caused shares to drop sharply. Top and bottom lines were better than expected, but it seems that the company is burning through money and not increasing its profits to match. There’s also concerns about new data protection regulations – after all, the company is reliant on data-driven advertising revenue. Conversely, Microsoft reported pretty healthy stock.
It looks like it’s on, people…