Five years ago to the day I set up my Gmail account. The first email in my Inbox was of course from Google welcoming me to Gmail. Google claimed Gmail is different, but I believe that it is now a standard for personal email. In that first email, Google tells me about ads and cheekily state that I "might even find ads to be interesting and useful"!
I use Gmail almost every day - mostly for personal stuff. It is a handy way to store files (I just email them to myself). I can also access it from home and my iPhone - in fact I almost never don't have access to my Gmail. I choose not to access my work email outside the College.
Gmail is also excellent at stopping Spam - as I write this there are 678 spams blocked on my account. I rarely get spam in my Gmail Inbox (this is not rare at my work email). However they do it, others should learn from them. Also at the moment I am "currently using 910MB (12%) of your 7425MB" - so there is lots of space online that I can use.
This is a fantastic service and it is all FREE!!! I also use iGoogle, Google Calendar, YouTube (owned by Google), and Blogger (also owned by Google). All for FREE!!! Long Live Google!
First email from 19th February, 2005 reproduced below: