Microsoft announced a new feature for Outlook.com aimed at making it easier for users to import their Gmail accounts. As you may know, much of Microsoft's "Scroogled" efforts have slung mud at Gmail, in hopes of gaining more Outlook.com users.
Microsoft and Yahoo are important partners, of course, so it's no surprise that Microsoft wouldn't want to do more to hurt that relationship. It was revealed this week that the "search alliance" between the two companies is responsible for 31% of Yahoo's revenue.
Microsoft says that "discontent with Gmail seems to be on the rise."
"According to a recent study by market research firm Ipsos, nearly 1 in 4 consumers would switch email providers if it was easier to do," writes Naoto Sunagawa on the Outlook blog. "That same study also highlighted the areas that customers identified as most important; these include ensuring ads don't interfere with the email experience (70%), offering advanced spam filters (69%), providing an easy-to-understand user interface (67%), and not scanning the contents of email to serve ads (58%). We have focused on many of these areas with Outlook.com, and so for those looking to make a change in their personal email provider, Outlook.com is a natural choice."
"Of course, even if you are frustrated with your current provider, the thought of switching to a new service can seem daunting," Sunagawa continues. "So we've introduced new functionality right into Outlook.com that does the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps to connect your Gmail account (using OAuth) to your Outlook.com account (if you don't already have one, it's easy to get). This will import your Gmail emails into your Outlook.com inbox and, because you've connected both accounts, your Google contacts will automatically appear in Outlook.com. 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."
You can get the step-by-step here.
The feature will be rolling out over the course of the coming weeks.