4 out of 5 Gmail users want to switch to Outlook.com (and more Outlook news)

by: J. Angelo RacomaNovember 28, 2012

Microsoft’s Outlook.com team has just announced a few updates to its webmail service. On top of this, the email service now has a dedicated app for Android. Will Microsoft be successful in luring Gmail users away?

Microsoft says over a third of Outlook.com users are active Gmail users wanting to try out Microsoft’s new webmail service. Curious as to what Gmail users are looking for in a web email service, the team did more research into the behaviors and preferences of email users, and found out that Gmail users actually loved Outlook.com. According to the developers, among the top reasons are a clean design, spam blocking and the ease of sharing photos and Office documents.

In fact, Microsoft says four out of five persons involved in their research wanted to switch from Gmail to Outlook.com. The test sample was a bit small, though, with only “hundreds of Gmail users” being part of the research. What’s quite interesting is that the respondents say what lured them into Outlook.com are features that are actually present in Gmail, such as keyboard shortcuts, conversation threading, tab/send (another keyboard shortcut for quickly sending an email), and quick access to search operators.

Outlook.com app for Android

In even better news (for Outlook users, at least), Microsoft has announced the release of its dedicated app for Android. Sure, it may not exactly compete with the tight Gmail integration into Android devices, but if you or your organization rely on Outlook.com email, then this might be a good opportunity to go mobile.

Android devices do support Outlook out of the box, but the developers say there is a lack of consistency in native support for Exchange ActiveSync across the various Android versions, releases and devices. As such, the new Android app is available via the Google Play Store for free. The app should work for all Android devices from version 2.x up.

The app offers features you would expect from an email app, including push notifications, multiple accounts, and calendar and contact sync. But early reviews say the interface is uninspired and even outdated, which doesn’t do justice to the web version of Outlook.com.

If you ask me, I find the Outlook.com interface really clean and easy to use — at least on the Web. But since I’ve already been invested in Gmail for the past eight years or so (plus half a dozen inboxes running on the Google Apps platform), I’m sticking with Google. However, if this data has piqued your curiosity, then go ahead and try out Outlook.com either on the web or mobile.

  • mog386

    “In fact, Microsoft says four out of five persons involved in their research wanted to switch from Gmail to Outlook.com.”

    Yeah, I’m gonna call BS on this statistic.

    • jangeloracoma

      Focus on “Microsoft says,” of course. :)

    • Cédric Tremblay

      Yeah, definitely.
      Maaaybe if it was a lot different/better.
      But they just kind of caught up with Gmail, there is absolutely no reason why 80% of Gmail users would want to switch, wtf.

      Also, well if it’s true then I’m the 1 out of 5 person that does not want to switch and that makes all of you a bunch of traitors.

    • Max

      Consider that 5 out of those 5 were willing to spend time and effort checking out a different email service, to take part in that survey in the first place – this just _might_ skew the results towards willingness to jump ship, innit…?

  • Nevi_me

    Ooh aah, bashing time :)

    I switched to Outlook.com because of Windows 8 (had a Hotmail acc). I like the interface, spam control has to be proven first as it normally takes a while before we start seeing spam on new accounts. Does anyone know of a rogue company that sells email addresses? I’d like to sell my Outlook one so I can see spam controls for myself.

    Now, about 4 out of 5 … If they’re so keen on switching to Outlook, maybe they should just switch. Google allows people to download their data, so they must just go :) (of course they should spend a day or 3 changing email addresses on the multitudes of services).

    The Android app … Uhmm isn’t it the same as the Hotmail one, designed by Microsoft + Seven? Its rating is 2.0, so maybe they should use a drawing board this time.

    I haven’t tried Outlook.com on the stock mail app before ICS, so I don’t know how it is.
    Microsoft enabled ActiveSync on hotmail/outlook.com a few months back, and so far it works very well. My Win8 pc and Android communicate better regarding my calendars and contacts. I save an appointment on any calendar (Outlook or Gmail on the web) and I know I won’t miss it.

  • Jon E

    Those screenshots of it look awful! The only good thing coming from MS these days is the XBox. Their new OS sucks, their phones suck, their newer programming languages suck.

    • MasterMuffin

      Windows 8 doesn’t suck

      • Nevi_me

        I have to agree, I’m looking at my inbox tight now, and I can’t seem to find any reason to pull my hair. Windows 8, and Outlook for that matter, look good. Outlook in particular looks plain, clean and maybe ‘boring’, but as the look that they went for, they are executing it well so far.

        I reckon the people who keep saying Windows 8 sucks are:
        – entitled to their opinion
        – people who resist change (remember XP?)
        – people who don’t appreciate designs

        • MasterMuffin

          Totally agree with you, finally found a smart person in web! :D

      • xoj_21

        It does, on desktop

        • AndroidBrian

          I love windows 8 on my desktop

        • MasterMuffin

          No it doesn’t, I have it on desktop and it works fine and is easy to use

        • Nevi_me

          How about you tell us what sucks?
          Is it the new Start Menu tiles? Is it the backgrounds? The charms? The desktop? What exactly?

          Win8 is proper, to the extent that some reviewers were praising the new Task Manager, something that not many people use.

          Let’s agree that a significant part of what we see on Win8 has changed, and as it is your opinion (which you’re entitled to and which I respect :) ) please mention what exactly about Win8 sucks, and maybe people can state whether they agree with you or not

          • xoj_21

            how about all of it?

            i like that faster, but metro look doesnt translate well into the desktop part.

            the mix between two worlds make everything messy, bearable, still messy.

            everything should be pinned to a single taskbar, not one for desktop, one thats invsible until you move the mouse to the left corner.

            plus html5 acceleration is buggy, at least on ATI drivers. video forces closes, even on chrome, only firefox managed to barely play them

          • MasterMuffin

            I personally like metro look.

            I think the “mix between two worlds” works fine if you get used to and you will after few hours of using w8.

            Okay, I slightly agree with that taskbar part, it was really weird in the start and big difference compared to w7, but I got used to it and actually started to like it.

            Haven’t had those last problems, but if you say so :)

          • Nevi_me

            Thanks :) makes conversations better.
            I also agree about the mix, adds a learning curve, but I’m over it now so I am fine with that.

            The two taskbar thing works for me, I use it for the desktop apps that I always use, and the other taskbar I treat as part of Start Menu. I must add that I dislike how every shortcut that used to go to the Start Menu folders is just laid bare there on the Start Menu. It crowds everything.

            I agree with acceleration, some of the apps tend to force close, especially those by MS that came with Windows.

            Another thing I can add to the ‘it sucks’ list is that memory management for the metro apps seems to be a hit or miss at times. I can have apps remain open for hours or even days, but sometimes windows closes them to get free memory. I use a lot of RAM on the desktop, and it would have been nice if more RAM was reserved for metro apps. I should note that I don’t yet have much a clue of how memory management works between the two interfaces, I’ll read up on it. One thing I can mention’s that it doesn’t seem like RAM is sandboxed

      • APai

        metro sucks goatballs on the desktop. on the phone / tablet with a touchscreen – it makes sense. the rest of windows 8 is an improvement over 7.

        • MasterMuffin

          No it doesn’t, have you even used the final version of w8? You’ve probably just read some reviews and now you think it sucks balls… And BTW it rules in 27″ all-in-one pc :)

          • APai

            yup tried it. my new laptop came with the win8, unfortunately not the pro version. tried iobit startmenu8 AFTER i found it irritating in the beta.

          • MasterMuffin

            I don’t miss the start menu but for someone that’s afraid of changes it can be hard to let it go. And if the start menu thing is the only thing that makes w8 suck and you can even get it back with simple software, tell me exactly how w8 actually sucks….

          • APai

            I said metro sucks, not windows 8 in its entirety.

            so let me get the rundown on my pet peeves with windows 8:
            – first up the metro UI which i eliminated
            – UEFI – usual microsoft’s way to shut out rootkit, but raises the technical level to play around with other OS. I can’t as yet dual boot into linux with this lousy tech.
            – the initial shutdown options is bullcrap.
            – I have had issues with drivers, installing on my old PC, while i never had any issues with either xp/ vista/ 7!

          • MasterMuffin

            My bad :)

            Personally I like metro but some (like you), don’t and that’s okay

            I only play with Linux in virtual machines/emulators, so doesn’t affect me or 90% of people who buy w8

            I didn’t get that (sorry, I’m finnish :)

            Yea I’ve heard that some have had problems with the drivers, but I haven’t.

            Conclusion: I think that w8 is great, w7 has its own flaws too (for example it crashes pretty often when using for example Paint, Office or IE) and I hope that people will adopt this new Os :)

  • hahahah this has got to be some of the most skewed research I’ve ever seen.

    • Just like the Bing vs Google fiasco. I did the test and totally unintentionally got ALL Google search results. Tried again and got Google 4 times and Bing once.
      Microsoft’s statistical department has a meth lab in it obviously.

      • APai

        someone misread the memo about mathlab :P

    • On a Clear Day

      “…The test sample was a bit small, though, with only “hundreds of Gmail users” being part of the research.”

      ….all the more easy to confuse you, my dear, when the sample is so small as be statistically irrelevant!

      Do they employ first graders at Microsoft, or what?

  • saurabhaj

    Great news,
    Year 2013.
    4 out of 5 Microsoft users+employees want to lookout of Microsoft.

  • xoj_21

    This is bullshit

  • Bugsie857

    Yeah? I heard 10 out of 10 I phone users want to switch to Android too. My research is equally robust as Microsoft Corps.

  • APai

    lol, 4/5 probably were drunk. gmail does a lot more than just email. google lab add a ton of features. just some pretty design does not make the cut. besides, google were the first to simplify the interface

  • AndroidBrian

    Never herd of it but I signed up and got a great user name. First and last name finally!

  • Alejometal

    Shame on you mr. Racoma for post this piece of bias article. Do you work for MS? I could say that this is a post made by Microsoft marketing department. Who said ENDORSED Article.

    • jangeloracoma

      Funny you should think that. I’m actually more inclined toward Apple products than Microsoft.

      • Alejometal

        There you are. An apple user writing on a Android mag. Come on you just read your “article” again. You are shameless, you certainly lack of critical-thinking or well at least you do on this piece of advertisement or endorsement.

        • jangeloracoma

          Hmm. What’s wrong with using Apple products? Not all Apple users are iSheeps who can’t jailbreak their iOS devices or use Terminal to tweak OSX.

          • Alejometal

            If you say so!

          • jangeloracoma

            Alright, then! Still, thanks for reading. But please do consider that I tried to write this piece without bias, even toward Google services (this is a Google-oriented publication, after all). If this were a Microsoft-made article, then this should be all praises for the benefits of Outlook.com and its mobile app.

  • I love Google *and* Microsoft, and I’m as in love with Windows 8’s modern UI as I am with ICS/Jellybean, and the new Outlook.com has gotten me to start using Hotmail/Outlook again–once in a while. That’s all. Switching from Gmail? It would take another 5+ years of constant development and massive improvement for Microsoft to get me to switch. It’s almost like Apple Maps vs. Google Maps. Outlook may look clean (finally), but it’s still several years behind.

  • I love the new Outlook.com much better than Gmail, Hotmail, iCloud and anything else. The calendar and contacts area still needs to be tweaked but its been a good solid choice. Very clean and easy.

  • Ivan Jensen

    No, I love GMail…

  • DM

    ahh, I see! the hundreds of gmail user targeted in the research are all Microsoft employees.

  • DM

    That apps looks like it was made by a kid in 2004.

  • Gé den Bok

    I think the research was done by the Dutch professor who tuned out to be a fraud.

  • Ferris Bueller

    *cough* lies *cough*
    I’m a user of both hotmail and gmail.
    Since being “upgraded” to Outlook.com I can’t even read my email.
    Google > Microsoft yet again