Google's Gmail service will celebrate its fifth birthday this week, and the rumour mill has been in full voice speculating that the firm is to make a major new feature announcement to coincide with the event.
Reports on tech news site Electricpig suggest that Google will make an announcement on Monday. Details are sketchy at best, but a Google spokesperson said that the announcement has a "European multilingual angle to it".
Google originally announced the service on 1 April 2004, and some in the industry thought that the whole thing was an April Fool's Day hoax. Since then it has grown to become one of the most popular webmail services around.
Google's move to provide near-unlimited storage, and a concentration on usability with help from Ajax technology, helped change the web-based email market.
However, it has not been all plain sailing. A recent outage caused anger among the community, many of whom used their Twitter accounts to complain about the service, branding it 'Gfail'.
And Google has also recently been the subject of regulatory concerns, after the Electronic Privacy Information Center (Epic) filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission about the security standards of Google's cloud computing services, including Gmail.
Epic's main concern seemed to be that Google does not encrypt the information held on its servers.
However, despite these concerns, Gmail has continued to extend its reach beyond its core consumer market and gain traction among corporate customers.
Earlier this month, software technology vendor Serena Software announced that it migrated over 700 of its staff from Outlook to Gmail in just a few hours, in order to save costs and improve the productivity of its staff.
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