|SLOOOWLY uploading mbox files|
What I'm really impressed with though is Google's user-data policy. Keith Coleman, the project manager for GMail summed it up really well here:
One of Google’s core philosophies is that user data should never be held hostage. We want people to be able to take their data and do whatever it is they want with it. This isn’t something that’s really standard for e-mail services.What he means is Google aims to make all your contacts, calendar entries, blog posts, emails and whatever other data you store in the big GCloud down into some sort of manageable format. Without too much trouble, you can configure Outlook, Thunderbird, fetchmail or whatever email client you use to download all of your mail from Google. If you're an email hoarder like me, it might take several days and several gigs to do this, but it's pretty simple.
Services such as Hotmail and Yahoo! aren't so friendly. You can pay Yahoo! $20 per year for a "Pro" account that gives you the privilege of downloading your mail. At least they allow you to export your contacts without too much trouble.
I'm on this rant mostly because Anne recently made the big switch to GMail so she can use her new Desire Z. (Actually, my new Desire Z now that I have my Nexus One back.) In order to take full advantage of an Android based phone, you really need a Google account for calendars, email and to download junk from the Android Market. She's also adopted "Ciuffo" formally in her email world. She says it's like getting married all over again. Aint she romantic?
Now I'm in the process of trying to migrate all of her Yahoo! information over to the big G. The contacts went over without a hitch, but Google and Yahoo! aren't cooperating on the email export. It's a long, slow slog to make it all work, but it's going to happen.
I was forced to download all the mail from Yahoo into mbox files and then used the fantastic IMAP Uploader utility from OZAWA Masayuki. The contacts went a bit easier as they can be exported to a CSV that GMail can easily read.