A friend who is a doctor uses Gmail, and has loads of his personal information stored in his mailbox, called me up in the evening and told me that something is wrong with his computer, and Gmail’s Homepage is looking weird, and hence he was not signing in to his Gmail account, doubting it to be some kind of fake login page or a phishing attack.
The issue was (is) the Vowel Outage, due to which the page looked something like this.
The vowels are missing, and as per the Gmail team –
“At 6:01 am Pacific Time, during routine maintenance at one of our datacenters, the frontend web servers in that particular datacenter started failing to render the letter ‘a’ for a subset of users. As error rates escalated, the strain spread to other datacenters. We worked quickly to avoid a cascading failure of the entire alphabet by implementing a stopgap solution that limited the damage to the letters ‘a,’ ‘e,’ ‘i,’ ‘o,’ and ‘u.’ As a result, we’re experiencing Gmail’s first temporary vowel outage. (We’re still investigating whether the letter ‘y’ is impacted and will post an update here shortly.)”
According to an update, it was determined that letter ‘y’ is not impacted.
So, if you too are worried, and may be avoiding sign-in to your Gmail account, don’t hesitate, and sign-in, you are safe. It is just a glitch on the homepage; nothing else is impacted or maybe Gmail is just playing a April Fool prank with us :).