Alphabet’s Google significantly overhauls GMail

The aim is to reduce the revenue generation gap between its G Suite and Microsoft’s Office suite and specifically meets many business users’ demands.

On Wednesday, in what is stated to be its first redesign since 2013, Alphabet Inc’s Google unveiled an overhaul of Gmail in what the company stated was an expensive overhaul that is two years in the making and it adopts many of Microsoft Outlook’s offline functionality and resemblance with enhanced security.

The significant update is Google’s most extensive update to its G Suite workplace software bundle to date and stems from accelerated efforts to increase its market share in business dominated by Microsoft Corp’s Office software suite.

With this update, Google said, it has unified three dueling systems for syncing messages across devices, restructured the email storage databases and upgraded computers underpinning the service.

“This is an entire rewrite of our flagship, most-used product,” said Jacob Bank, product manager lead for Gmail, which 1.4 billion people use each month.

According to analysts’ estimates, G Suite generated around $2 billion in revenues in 2017.

Although Google declined to quantify costs associated with the redesign, on Monday however, its parent Alphabet Inc reported that in the first quarter, capital expenditures have jumped by 3 times from their previous year figures to $7.3 billion.

Ruth Porat, the firm’s CFO told analysts that half of the spending resulted from hardware purchases to support expanding use of machine learning, identify spam and predict which emails users would find most important, identify spam, among other things.

SECURITY FEATURES

Midst an environment of heightened security, Bank stated the overhaul was primarily required to provide offline access, to up to 90 days, of emails for users who turn on the feature. Furthermore, the change log also fulfills another top demand from business executives – message expiration.

Users who enable a “confidential” option when sending an email can time-limit its access to recipients and also require they enter a one-time passcode sent to their phones to read it.

Significantly, this new setting does not override corporate email retention policies or present new obstacles to law enforcement.

Banks went on to add, testers have advanced from “neutral to positive to very positive” on the new look.

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