Gmail on Windows 7 Desktop
Posted May 2, 2009on:
This article looks at the current options and future possibilities for desktop integration of Gmail with Windows 7.
Google Desktop runs on Windows 7 but the Gmail gadget seems to have problems. The Gmail gadget would be my only reason to run Google Desktop anyway, even though it is an awesome application, especially as you can run widgets on the desktop and bring them to the front anytime with a double-tap and the shift key.
Why integrate Gmail into your desktop?
I loved the Google Desktop’s Gmail gadget because I can have access to Gmail and be notified when I have a new mail, without keeping a mail program open or having the bandwidth overhead of Gmail in a browser.
Available desktop integration modes
There are a few inbox notifier style widgets listed on the windows gadget site. One is Gmail Counter which simply announces the number of emails and links directly to your web inbox. It’s only one step better than keeping your Gmail open all the time in a browser. Two steps better is Gmail Reader which lists your new mail by subject, and links to individual messages.
Neither comes close to the fantasticality that is Google Desktop’s Gmail gadget.
Windows Live Mail and Gmail
Windows Live Mail, downloadable via Windows Live, is not a bad option for Gmail on Windows 7 as it will automatically set itself up to work with IMAP. IMAP with Gmail is a little counterintuitive because it lists everything twice, the second time being inside a ‘Google Mail’ subfolder. An advantage is that folders can be setup to synchronise headers only which will cut down on unnecessary bandwidth usage (convenient only if you are online most of the time, otherwise you might want messages automatically stored on your computer).
Windows Live Mail works with the Unread Mail gadget, which alerts you to new mail and opens the program on default.
A Windows 7 native Gmail Desktop Widget?
A Microsoft supported (created???) Gmail gadget that operates similarly to Google Desktop’s Gmail widget would be more than welcome by users of windows 7 and Gmail.
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