Google restructures Gmail to lure subscribers
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Wednesday unveiled its first Gmail redesign since 2013, capping what the company said was an expensive overhaul.
It will include offline functionality and resemble Microsoft Outlook.
It is Google’s most extensive update to software in its G Suite workplace bundle.
It is accelerating efforts to steal business from Microsoft Corp’s dominant Office workplace software suite.
Previously, G Suite added instant-messaging and spreadsheet features.
With Gmail, Google said it restructured email storage databases, unified three-dueling-systems for syncing-messages across devices and upgraded-computers underpinning the service.
That shift to Google’s self-developed Tensor processing chips enables smart-assistant features such as “suggested replies” to messages and “nudges” to respond to forgotten emails.
“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.
Unreliable offline access to email has long discouraged would-be customers.
Meanwhile, recent high-profile corporate data breaches have increased desire to lock down email.
Analysts estimate G Suite generated about $2 billion in revenue last year, 10 times behind Office.
Google declined to specify costs associated with the redesign.
But parent Alphabet reported on Monday that first-quarter capital expenditures nearly tripled year-over-year to $7.3 billion.
Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Porat, told analysts that half of the spending resulted from hardware purchases to support expanding use of machine learning.
This expansion describes automated programmes that can, among other things, identify spam and predict which emails users would find most important.