Google services are usually rock solid reliable, but earlier today some Gmail users lost service for a couple of hours. That begs the question, are we relying on Google too much?
Gmail outages are peppered over the last few years and every time it creates a flurry of activity as businesses and individuals realize how much they rely on a single business and platform for all of their messaging needs.
The same concept is mirrored with search engine traffic, where many people don’t even realize there are search engines out there other than Google.
Interestingly, Google has built upon an ad-supported business model and has enabled an expectation by customers of 100% uptime—at no cost to them. Perfection is something most businesses admire and aspire to, but rarely achieve. Google has certainly distinguished itself from the crowd, but when outages like this affect so many people it’s a sign that competition isn’t fierce enough.
But, until the market stabilizes and new competitors demonstrate compelling value propositions, back up your Gmail account.
Part of the problem for new startups is an intimidating barrier to entry. Google regularly releases updates to Gmail, commands glacial amounts of traffic and attracts attention from the press on a daily basis.
Though Google expresses a policy of “do no evil”, the sheer breadth of its services causes unintentional hardships for others, and privacy is a great example of that.
Thankfully, so far, Google has followed through on its benevolent intentions. Gmail regularly scans through e-mails looking for keyword matches for paying sponsors, but Google has an ear open to privacy advocates.
It just announced support of a Data Privacy Day, “as more and more personal information comes online every day, it’s increasingly important that users all over the world understand both the benefits and potential risks of online data sharing, and the tools at their disposal to control and manage the data they share online. In recognition of the global importance of data protection, the U.S. and Canada have joined 27 European countries to celebrate Data Privacy Day 2008 this Monday, January 28th.”