Okay, this policy of Gmail stinks, especially when you're a programmer trying to distribute applications you've built:

Some file types are blocked
As a security measure to prevent potential viruses, Gmail doesn't allow you to send or receive executable files (such as files ending in .exe) that could contain damaging executable code.

Gmail won't accept these types of files even if they are sent in a zipped (.zip, .tar, .tgz, .taz, .z, .gz) format. If this type of message is sent to your Gmail address, it is bounced back to the sender automatically.

This fails the "do no evil" test. Why would Gmail shut down sending applications? Viruses, sure, but is there another reason a company who"outlines Web development investments in three areas", one of which is "2. Keeping Connectivity Pervasive" might want to discourage the distribution of applications on the desktop?

Look, the browser is the platform for Google. They want to replace exe with http. This is exactly what scared Microsoft when Java hit the scene -- that Microsoft's hold over the desktop would become meaningless as applications moved to the web.

Java failed in its attempt to take over the desktop, but it weakened Microsoft enough that Google's been able to do it (look, I realize that's a stretch, and I've left out about three hundred and two points between Java and Google, but hey, this is a blog post. For now, I'm going to have to ask that you trust me.). AJAX is the new Java. The web is winning.

That Google would stop you from sending exe's via their new https should come as a surprise to no one. I'm not saying they instituted the policy to stop one from sending competitors to their platform, but it's sure as heck one reason if the decision isn't at least partially reversed in the future.

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