Google launched Gmail in April 2004 and since then the company has been integrating new features, although the service continued to be tagged under the beta development phase.
Among other features, such as spam filtering, it also includes the GoogleTalk messaging service and a calendar.
Google has positioned Gmail as a gateway to other offerings available online, displaying links to the Picasa photo-sharing service; and to Docs, a word processing and spreadsheet application.
Google has focused on building the infrastructure for its service-based offerings.
Gmail currently offers users around 2.8GB of storage capacity for email, one of the most generous limits among free services.