Remember the first email ID you created for yourself? It must have been at Hotmail, right? If you ask me the same question, I would say yes it was a Hotmail account only. Needless to say, Microsoft ruled the internet world for many years as far as web based email services were concerned. Other than this, Yahoo and Aol shared the considerable market share in the beginning years. Then Gmail came in the fray, and it changed the entire game. People started switching to Gmail because of its clean and easy interface, increased security from spam, and unlimited storage facility. Today, Gmail claims to have the largest market share as the web based email service provider. According to Google, Gmail reached over 425 million active users globally in June 2012.
Hotmail – in this race lagged much behind. The downfall of Hotmail can be credited to its poor spam protection and increased hackings. However, it too tried to revamp and brought in various new features to lure users. It also improved its protection spam, and offered a near unlimited storage. But perhaps, it is too late for Hotmail now, it still remains away from the focus. Today, when we see a hotmail email address somewhere, we doubt it to be a spam in the very first sight, and it comes out to be true at most of the instances. But now, Microsoft comes to the fore with a new strategy. It launched Outlook.com last month in preview mode, where it is rebranding itself as a quality email service provider. Let’s take a sneak peek into Outlook.com to find whether it has the potential to give Gmail a competition or not.
To have a better understating of Outlook.com, I signed up last week at Outlook.com and tried to explore its features. Yes, I agree, I could not help myself comparing to Gmail. The following are some of results of my analysis:
- Simplicity Rocks: Yes, Microsoft does it this time with Outlook.com. The overall interface of its email account is clean and fresh. You will find everything in the right place, and will not need to miss an option you are accustomed to. Like all other emails, your account shortcuts like, Inbox, Draft, Sent Items, Junk folders are on the left side, then follows the main email document area. In the right side there’s a panel that shows your notification, updates and ads.
- Composing mail: Under this website, when you click to write an email to somebody, there comes a window that does not show anything else. It’s just you and your email. It makes things look even nicer. However, it does show up the basic options you would require while composing your mail. Those options here show up at the top.
- Creating folders: Yes, you can create folders here and do not feel forced to use only Label function like in Gmail. Additionally, you can create labels to mark and group your mails, and make them appear different from others.
- Enhanced spam protection: Unlike its predecessor Hotmail, Outlook.com seems to put more weight on spam filter.
- Social integration: While in Gmail, it’s only Gtalk and Google Plus with you. But here in Outlook.com, you can connect your account to Facebook and Twitter also. You can Like and Retweet without leaving your inbox. Additionally, you already have all facilities of Windows live account.
Though, there are certain things that may make you uncomfortable for some time. But, that can be understood for two reasons – first, we have gone habituated to using Gmail now, and the second, Outlook.com is still in the beta version. So the improvements are sure to surface with time. To sum up, I would say that this new email service from Microsoft has got the potential to give Gmail a tough competition.
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