The early indications for Microsoft’s rebranded email service Outlook.com are good. They have managed to notch up over 60 Million active users in the 6 months following last summer’s launch.
That makes Outlook.com the fastest growing email service ever. Those figures could be interpreted as a little misleading however, as a large portion of those users (including myself) were (in some cases-unwillingly/unwittingly) migrated from Hotmail. For users who initially refused to migrate, they’ll now have to resign to using Outlook.com as the product moves out of preview and Hotmail is officially retired.
Microsoft has been trying to convince the people that they have the best email service in the world for several years but was losing ground to Yahoo and especially Google’s Gmail. Microsoft itself had admitted that its flagship email service Hotmail was not attractive enough to people, which is why they have been opting to create accounts on Gmail and Yahoo. This is why Microsoft came up with the new and revamped version of the traditional Outlook.
Microsoft’s Attack on Gmail
The announcement regarding the new Outlook puts into perspective Microsoft’s recent attack on Gmail. Over the past month or so, Microsoft has launched a tirade against Gmail, claiming that they read their users’ emails. The lack of privacy has been a concern for email users for some time now. Microsoft’s effort to put Gmail down has brought this issue to light again. The campaign has been labeled ‘Scroogled’ and has a petition going around the internet with over 75,000 signatures.
In fact, the anti-Gmail campaign launched by Microsoft will be a part of their promotional efforts to get Outlook accepted by one and all. According to the company itself, the reason why Microsoft has been advocating against Gmail is purely educational. Well, you would have guessed that they have more to gain from getting people to leave Gmail and sign up for a Microsoft account. It remains to be seen whether they are successful in getting people to delete their email accounts on Google.
Spending Big Bucks on Outlook
No one knows how much money Microsoft spent on developing the new Outlook.com service for its users. However, they are spending big bucks on promoting and marketing it in a bid to gain more users. According to some reports, the company is spending anywhere between $30 million and $90 million on the promotional campaign. The campaign not only includes promotion of Outlook but also their anti-Gmail push.
This goes to show that Microsoft is confident about the quality of its new email service and that they are expecting people to sign up for it big time. Otherwise, spending so much money on promoting it is not a sensible move on their part. Microsoft has been claiming that Outlook.com is the best email service available to people today and they should ditch their email accounts with all other providers and sign up right away.
A major reason behind Microsoft’s decision to promote Outlook so heavily is the rising trend of people texting instead of sending emails. As more and more people continue using smartphones, they find it easier to send a text rather than an email. A growing number of users are checking their emails through their smartphones. If Microsoft can convince people to check their emails on Outlook, it would mean more people sign in to their Microsoft accounts.
When a person signs in, tracking his/her activities becomes easier which is something marketers and advertisers can use to make the most of their ads. Ad revenue makes up a large chunk of Microsoft’s earnings and promoting Outlook.com aggressively might indirectly influence their ad earnings in a positive way. Well, there is some time before one can say with certainty whether Microsoft made the right move launching the new Outlook in a big way.