One of my readers, Malcolm Morris, not unreasonably snapped back that he was feeling very locked in by Gmail, and he's got a very good point.He wrote:
Have you noticed that Gmail does not give you a feature to export your contacts? Like you I trust Google. Gmail made it easy for me to import my contacts from Outlook, Yahoo, mail.com and a couple of other accounts. But then I tried to back them up - Not possible, and the export feature is not under discussion as far as I can find out. I'm now locked into gmail unless I'm willing to undertake a *really* tedious Cut&Paste exercise to export my contact data. With this and the privacy issues, I think Google's halo has already begun to tarnish a little.
I've been using Gmail since March 18, and I've accumulated 268MB of messages, and I have sometimes idly wondered how I'd get that out of there if I wanted to, too.
I've been vaguely aware of freeware utilities and things that are supposed to export Gmail contacts and messages, and after I got Malcolm's note I did a little poking around (in Google, of course) for a solution. So far I've found . . . not much.
I do think Google should provide export utilities, and I believe that eventually it will. I believe, I believe. (at least as strongly as I believe in Tinkerbell and the tooth fairy) But until the "Do No Evil" guys do me some good all I've got is a mishmash of Linux hacks and Python scripts.
Does anybody have any real, useful answers for this problem?