It’s personal, attention-grabbing, and highly effective: email is one of the most important ways that companies market their products to the masses.

So no wonder that email marketers are concerned that Google has redesigned Gmail in a way that filters deals, offers and promotional messages into a less prominent part of the inbox.

How worried should marketers be? To answer the question, FT Tech Blog has rustled up some striking data about how Gmail users are behaving following the changes. Read more

Google’s Gmail is suffering disruption, with many corporate users reporting they are not receiving emails from the webmail service, which has more than 400m users worldwide.

While Google’s Apps Status Dashboard is reporting that Gmail is working normally, it indicates the related Postini Services are suffering from disruption. Read more

Webmail services have seen little innovation since Google’s Gmail arrived in 2004, but Microsoft took a fresh look with, launched in the summer, and now AOL has unveiled

Note that Microsoft and AOL are wisely choosing not to force Hotmail and AOL Mail users to switch to the new services – email users tend to be very set in their ways and Altomail looks a radically different interface in some of its views. Read more

Google appsGoogle’s enterprise unit is jubilant after snaring its biggest customer win to date, as BBVA, the Spanish bank, said it was going to migrate all its 110,000 employees onto Google Apps.

It’s about twice the size of Google’s next biggest customer wins with Rentokil and Ahold, and there is kudos in having a security-conscious bank place its trust the company’s cloud offering.  Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google is set to launch a native Gmail application for the iPhone, according to MG Siegler. Those who have seen the app say it is “pretty fantastic,” MG Siegler reports. Read more

From Twitter accounts and national news sites to Google’s email service, several widely used sites were reported to have been compromised this week in a spree of online cybersecurity breaches.

Update: On Monday, Congressman Anthony Weiner held a press conference at which he admitted that he sent a lewd photograph on Twitter and had lied about being hacked.

 Read more

From the new Facebook Messages to AOL Mail, rising phoenix-like from the flames of email irrelevance, this week’s Personal Technology column in the FT’s Business Life section looks at the future of webmail.
Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Messages and Project Phoenix are all considered, along with some of the best email aids to avoid unmanageable inboxes.  Read more

More than a third of a billion people are active users of Facebook Messages, which made major strides to becoming a fully fledged email service on Monday.

I am among the first batch of users to get an address in a rollout expected to take many months. First impressions on the new features after the jump: Read more

Microsoft has revamped its Hotmail browser-based email service in time for Office 2010 and the official introduction of online versions of Office applications.

The company may be trailing Google with its integration of Google Docs and Gmail, but consumers should be familiar enough with Office programs to want to give the new integrated service a try. Read more

Google’s email service is finally returning to its original Gmail branding in the UK after a four-year absence, after Google settled a trademark dispute.

Google paid £226,324 for the intellectual property rights for Gmail to a small UK-based financial research firm, Independent International Investment ResearchRead more

Google has fewer than 1m paying users for its Google Apps service, and it has clearly decided that the time has come to get more serious about turning this into a mainstream business tool.

That is the conclusion to be drawn from today’s move to bring Gmail and three other apps out of their official test phase (finally). The beta designation has been a running joke for much of the five-plus years of Gmail’s life: after all, the company claims tens of millions of consumer users for individual applications like Gmail and Google Docs, along with another 15m or so students and workers who use a free version of the full suite of Apps, so the test period is clearly long over.

Yet the number of paying subscribers still only numbers in the “hundreds of thousands”, according to a spokesperson. Read more

  • After reported intervention by the US State department, Twitter delayed a scheduled maintenance outage so that its service would be available to help disseminate the message from protesters in Iran. With journalists there operating under increasingly heavy restrictions, the micro-blogging service has come to play an important role.
  • How do you salvage a former internet star that has been flirting with irrelevance? Sack nearly a third of the staff. That was the first move by new MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta on Tuesday as he tried to bring entrepreneurial drive back to the social networking site.

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  • They’re still just rumours, but they’ve gotten stronger. A day after leaks from Taiwan suggested Apple might be preparing a touch-screen netbook, sources told Dow Jones Newswire that the new computers, which will be designed primarily for web browsing and mobile computing, will have touch-screens between 9.7 and 10-inches.
  • Google’s Gmail has suffered another outage, which it said had affected only a “subset of users”, but comes only two weeks after a major global crash of the service. Gmail’s increasing popularity was highlighted in a Hitwise blog post and charts that showed it overtaking YouTube.

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  • Microsoft filed a suit of its own, alleging that in-car navigation system maker Tom Tom is violating eight of its patents, including three relating to Tom Tom’s use of open-source operating system Linux. This is believed to be the first time Microsoft has filed suit over Linux, which it has repeatedly said violates its patents.

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Gmail InboxGoogle’s Gmail development team appears to have been in overdrive over the past few months with a host of new features and  an improved application for mobile phones

For me, Gmail has become the start page and hub for all my web activity thanks to the excellent integration it offers with other services and email accounts. Read more

Technology is usually seen as empowering, allowing us to do more with less, whether it’s money, time or effort. But we tend to forget the restrictive side of technology. This week two great examples have emerged.

The first is a setting for Google email, which is called Mail Goggles, and stops you emailing people late at night on specific days by setting you some arithmetic questions. You can configure it for any time or day of the week, but the defaults are Friday and Saturday between 10pm and 4am, so it’s clearly aimed at social drinkers. Get one of the 5 questions wrong or fail to complete in the time allowed, and it says: “Water and bed for you.” Ouch. Read more