Virgin media has announced that it will migrate all of its four million home broadband customers to Google, offering them more than 7GB storage together with the @virginmedia.com email for the first time.
The deployment according to Virgin Media, is one of the biggest roll outs of Google Apps ever and could potentially bring in more than 40 million new email users since each customer is assigned 10 @virginmedia.com email addresses.
Google will be rolling out the now familiar web based user interface to the first 20,000 new customers who sign up today and will migrate existing customers from the various platforms (@ntlworld, @virgin.net etc) to the new service for free.
Users may also have access in the future to Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google Docs - something that Virgin Media and Google are currently evaluating.
By moving to Gmail, Virgin Media customers will receive a Google account by default which also allow them to get access to a number of other web services like Picasa.
Doug Lucas, the Strategic Partner Development Director for Google, said: "Virgin Media is one of the UK’s leading ISPs and this is a great partnership between two companies focused on innovation. We look forward to rolling out new features for the benefit of all Virgin Media’s customers."
Virgin Media's competitor, Sky, has been using Gmail for more than one year now, having implemented it first in November 2007. The migration did not go as smoothly as expected with some customers being cut off from their emails completely.
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The announcement comes a few days after the launch of Virgin Media's V Stuff which offered some pretty good free goodies for all its broadband customers. As for the Gmail announcement, this has been something that we argued could have been a good option for Virgin back in October 2008. It will allow Google not only to save money by decreasing operating costs but also leave others to worry about non-core services.
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