Gmail Hints At Managed Domain Service

    February 9, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

An intrepid blogger delved deep into the JavaScript underpinning Google’s Gmail service, and found a snippet of code pointing to a potential feature.

ZDNet’s Garett Rogers believes a piece of JavaScript in Gmail could be an indicator of the popular service’s future.

Unfortunately, Google’s coders follow a policy similar to that of the search advertising company’s PR department: no comments. Don’t expect to find nicely indented code a la Python here, either.

So the mystifying snippet of code implies the one-time or future inclusion of a feature called “Manage this domain.” Garett picks up the discussion from there on his blog:

Their next big move will likely be GMail for domains – a powerful way for anybody who owns a domain to utilize GMail as a mail server, not just a client. Yahoo has their own small business mail product which does precisely this, and now evidence suggests Google is planning the same.

A useful service to accompany such a service would be calendaring. I asked Garett via email if he thought the oft-rumored Google Calendar might debut with domain management in Gmail.

He responded: “I wouldn’t be surprised if they either launched it and the calendar separately… they often release things that have potential to integrate with each other separate from each other… for example, they released Google talk first — then they integrated it with GMail.”

Should domain management for Gmail debut, and considering the chatter about Google placeshifting $1 billion over three years to Dell in exchange for placing Google software on OEM PCs, it isn’t difficult to imagine Garett’s scenario as follows coming to fruition:

Companies can use it as a replacement to Microsoft Exchange as it has the potential to have shared contact lists, shared calendars, instant communication (the new talk feature), etc. Imagine also the possibility of Google allowing companies to skin their own GMail service – colors, layout, and even the logo could be customizable. Of course, even if Google allow this, ads will likely be delivered regardless.

Of course, the other possibility that domain management is in Gmail’s past rather than its future exists.

For any coder, it isn’t hard to imagine some Google project manager came around to say, “Um, yeah, we don’t need that manage domains feature, but can you come in onSaturday to work on removing the Delete button from Gmail and putting it in the drop-down list instead? Great.”

And there goes domain management.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.