Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Google Toolbar and GMail

Google Toolbar
I'm sure that most people are well aware of the google toolbar by now. If not, you should certainly give it a go. You can access all of the google tools here (note that this is the Australian site, and that you may be better going to the google site for your country and clicking tools on the menu if you live elsewhere).

You can download the the google toolbar by clicking the large button on the download page but did you notice that there's a smaller link underneath it which allows you to download the beta version of 4.0.629. I've been running this for weeks now, and I've had no problems.

The best bit though, is the new "bookmarks" feature. You can bookmark a page from the menu (as you would adding it to favourites). At the same time, or later if you wish, you can allocate categories to it. For example, my favourite online DVD shop is under DVDs and Shopping, while other things may just be under shopping. Effectively, this causes the bookmark to appear in two places.

Now comes the really good part.

I'm using GMail (more on that later), and the google toolbar knows how to log me on. I recently got a new computer at home. I downloaded the beta toolbar and logged onto my mail. Voila! All of my bookmarks from my work computer automatically appeared in the menu.

That's it for me... Microsoft's Favourites are DEAD.

GMAIL
I've got three email accounts that I use regularly. My work one (for work obviously), a Hotmail account (that I use for entertainment - ie: shopping catalogs etc) and a GMail account (that I use for IT-Related Newsletters).

I've always been quite impressed by Gmail, especially its categorisation features and it's large mail file sizes. Mostly though, I've been impressed by its simplicity.

Well... I recently converted my Hotmail account to Windows LiveMail. (the new version of hotmail). Microsoft has obviously decided to add more features....

The new interface is Much Worse than the old one and takes many more keystrokes to get the job done. It's feature set doesn't even manage to compare to google at all.

If Microsoft wanted to do some PRO-Google Marketing, they couldn't have found a better way to do it.

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