With the release of the new revamped Microsoft Hotmail as Outlook.com, we are truly lucky that both these technical giants keep challenging each other by releasing quality products in a bid to one up each other.
Although sometimes these battles can produce frustrating products and situations for the consumers, in the case of Outlook.com it seems that Microsoft has thankfully focused as much on product improvements as slinging mud at Google. Here’s the key features Microsoft has hoped to trump Gmail with and start winning back some of the email market share.
Larger Attachments and Unlimited Storage
In terms of storage and email attachments, Outlook.com wins a point over Gmail. While Gmail only provides users with 10GB of storage space for all your emails, files and other data; Outlook.com offers users unlimited storage space. On the other hand, Gmail’s storage space allowance inflicts a limitation of only 25MB or less rule on the attachments; Outlook.com on the other hand offers users the freedom of sending attachments that can be as large as 100MB which can easily be pushed to an impressive 300MB if they choose to link their SkyDrive accounts with Outlook.com.
While Gmail enabled users to filter their emails with the help of user defined filters and labels, Outlook.com facilitates users to use the nifty Quick Views option which automatically sorts all incoming emails into Documents, Updates, Photos etc. This method also allows for the one-click viewing option of emails which saves a lot of time especially if you are hunting around for a particular email.
Link Up To Social Networks
If you want to link up to any social networks or activities, Gmail limits users to its Google+ only. However, Outlook.com shows a smoother integration with other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Skype and even Google, making it possible for users to toggle through various social network accounts and allows users to re-tweet, search for something, write on walls or poke friends all day through the Outlook.com’s interface without having to leave it.
MS Office Integration
Mimicking Gmail’s points a lot here, the new Outlook.com comes with a built in MS. Office which allows users to access MS Excel, MS Word and utilize any other feature of the MS Office family enabling users to edit and email documents without leaving Outlook.com. Although similar to the Google Docs features functionality, Outlook.com scores the point here since Gmail’s Google Docs is not as popular nor as user friendly as the MSOffice.
Microsoft Outlook.com aims to widen its audience with its new linear, cleaner and aesthetically pleasing makeover. Although Google has made attempts to appease its users, many Gmail users still continue to lament over its cluttered and messy look. Therefore, Outlook.com seems to win the points here with its new streamlined and visually appealing look. The addition of a reading pane as well as other roll over options are among one of the few reasons that have enabled Outlook.com to get a user base of over 60 million since its launch.
While Microsoft has made a big effort to win back users in this market, it remains to be seen if these key features will be enough to tempt users away from their beloved Gmail accounts. Are the new features enough to make you switch?
[Image via pocket-lint]