AOL mail blog posted a sarcastic letter suggesting that Gmail copied various features from them. The premise of the post is that Gmail is “dressing up as AOL" for Halloween:
“Happy Halloween Gmail! We knew you would have the best costume at the party, and who can blame you? We think it's great that you're using this holiday to pay homage to the one who started it all, who got 35 million people online at once, gave them all email, great content and messaging capabilities, and even created a forum that encouraged them to speak in emoticons.
That costume is fabulous...clearly, the devil is in the details... and what's that you've got there? An "experimental" instant-messaging feature built right into your mail service so people can use it to send text messages to their contacts' phones? We love it – that was such a hit when we first introduced it so many years ago. We tried to make it easy: telling users to simply open the AIM panel in their email type "+1 and the 10-digit cell phone number" into the To: Screen Name box. It's kind of fun, too – good choice!”[…]