Microsoft tries to lure Gmail users with automated Outlook.com migration tool

The announcement comes after Outlook.com suffered several outages and interruptions this year

Microsoft has opened another front in its webmail war against Google with the release of a new tool designed to automate the migration process for Gmail users who want to switch to Outlook.com.

The functionality, built into Outlook.com, guides users through a step-by-step process that Microsoft describes as very easy and that transfers messages and contacts from Gmail to the Microsoft webmail service. The tool doesn't migrate calendar data.

"The structure of your inbox, including read/unread status of your emails, will be preserved. The new tool will even set up your Gmail address as a 'send-only' account so you can continue to send email from your @gmail.com address, right from Outlook.com, if you still want to," wrote Microsoft official Naoto Sunagawa in a blog post Wednesday.

Microsoft launched Outlook.com in mid-2012, saying the service, which eventually replaced Hotmail, was a top-to-bottom reinvention of webmail from the user interface to the back-end platform that provided significant improvements over Gmail, Yahoo Mail and other competitors.

Along with the rollout of Outlook.com, Microsoft has attacked Google via its Scroogled marketing campaign, in which Microsoft argues that Gmail disrespects its users' privacy by matching ads to the text of their messages and positions Outlook.com as an alternative that is more privacy-friendly.

However, Outlook.com has been hit by several high-profile outages and bugs this year, and there are indications that the service is misfiring on the business side of things as well.

In October when it reported its first fiscal quarter financial results, Microsoft said its 31 percent year-on-year revenue drop in display advertising was caused "mainly" by a drop in ads in Outlook.com.

Among this year's Outlook.com service interruptions are an extended incident that made it malfunction in different ways for several consecutive days in August, and an outage in March.

In fact, in July, Microsoft marked Outlook.com's one-year anniversary with a long list of positives, but also acknowledged that the service hasn't been as stable as expected.

"We had some bumps over the last year and there were places where our performance hasn't met the high standard we set for ourselves," Dick Craddock, group program manager of Outlook.com, wrote in that blog post, published July 31.

There are about 400 million active Outlook.com accounts, according to Microsoft.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesGoogleMicrosoftMailSoftware as a servicecloud computinginternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?