Brian Bailey claims to have seen a Google homepage hawking the company’s e-mail service, which has been invitation-only since April Fools Day of last year. Does this mean Google’s ready to finally pull it out of beta? Maybe. Maybe not. As this story notes, Google recently began offering Gmail accounts to randomly selected visitors to its home page. A company spokesman “denied that the move was a harbinger of Gmail moving out of its beta test phase,” the story notes. For all intents and purposes, Gmail accounts have been available to anyone who wants one. Google has given its beta-testers dozens of invitations to hand out. We’re sitting on 50 of them ourselves. If you haven’t been able to score a Gmail account by now, you haven’t been trying. Nonetheless, it will be notable when the lauded and controversial e-mail service finally goes public.

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