Google plans to develop Gmail into a service that will allow users to manage all their internet communications, including alerts and chat sessions.
"We would like mail to cover a broader part of the communications spectrum," Sam Schillace, director of engineering at Google, told Computer Weekly.
"At present, e-mail sits in the middle of the communications spectrum that goes from static web pages to dynamic chat sessions, but we would like to extend that," he said.
Schillace also sees the opportunity to extend Gmail coverage of the spectrum of communications that goes from personal to professional.
"We would like to take Gmail past e-mail to something that handles everything people care about and that helps them find what is relevant and valuable to them," he said.
According to Schillace, users are overloaded with alerts and are beginning to find it difficult to manage personal data.
Just as information on the web became to difficult manage without search engines, users are drowning in what amounts to "personal spam", he said.
"The next place I want to take Gmail is to be something that is much more powerful in helping people to manage and sift through personal data," said Schillace.
He envisages a service that will enable users to aggregate and prioritise all their communications, both personal and professional, across various channels or media.