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>People switched because the features and interface were far superior.

No one should use the web interface, let alone "techies." Use a real email client and everything behaves identically.

Not really, portability was not easy to accomplish back then when you were constantly shifting between work stations and different setups.

Even to this day, I don't know of an easy way to switch between fresh devices all the time and use a "real" email client.

I don't see the problem with someone preferring gmail - personally the +suffix tagging was what I still use to this day.

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