During CHI2004, I attended one presentation on Remail (there were two, but I wasn’t able to attend the other). Several days ago, Tom and I finally got ourselves GMail accounts thanks to a reader of OK/Cancel. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the two up and coming clients. Admittedly, GMail is a web application and comparing it to a suite like Remail has some element of comparing apples and oranges. However, the two systems do share surprising similarities in philosophy.
Email, which was developed decades ago so researchers could send electronic letter to each other, has grown incredibly. Especially in the last 15 years, it has gone from rarely used to daily necessity. With this growth has come folders, categories, threading, rules, autorepliers, notifications, spam, spam filters, and on. A fascinating question is where should it all go from here?