Bill Gates Flabbergasted by Gmail

Interesting read on The Motley Fool:

“Have you played with Gmail?’ I asked [Gates in 2004].

“Oh sure, I play with everything,” he replied. “I play with A-Mail, B-Mail, C-Mail, I play with all of them.”

My editor and I explained that the IT department at Newsweek gave us barely enough storage to hold a few days’ mail, and we both forwarded everything to Gmail so we wouldn’t have to spend our time deciding what to delete. Only a few months after starting this, both of us had consumed more than half of Gmail’s 2-gigabyte free storage space.

Gates looked stunned, as if I offended him. “How could you need more than a gig?” he asked. “What’ve you got in there? Movies? PowerPoint presentations?”

No, just lots of mail.

He began firing questions. “How many messages are there?” he demanded. “Seriously, I’m trying to understand whether it’s the number of messages or the size of messages.” After doing the math in his head, he came to the conclusion that Google was doing something wrong …

Gates’ implicit criticism of Gmail was that it was wasteful in its means of storing each email. … Despite his currency with cutting-edge technologies, his mentality was anchored in the old paradigm of storage being a commodity that must be conserved.

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