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Outlook.com racks up 25 million users and adds new features

Yesterday, we told you about a handy tip to make searching for a Gmail account email easier on Windows Phone. Today, you get a few more reasons to make the switch over to the new Outlook.

First, some impressive stats about the service. Microsoft is touting numerous accodades and awards for it's email service, like making Time Magazine's "50 Best Websites for 2012" list and others. What's even more impressive for you skeptics out there are the number of users it's managed to gain in nearly four months of service, over 25 million active users.

That's an interesting statistic since it's not the number of accounts created, but the amount of people using it on a regular basis. The team also has some new features to make the jump from Gmail to Outlook a smoother process...

Outlook stats

In an effort to court users from Google's offering, Microsoft hired a research firm to recruit Gmail users to try Outlook. The results do a fairly accurate job at highlighting the streghts of Outlook to it's rival. They found that 4 out of 5 users would be making the switch to Outlook, in addition:

  • They prefer Outlook.com's clean user design
  • Outlook.com does a better job of blocking spam and it outperforms Gmail when it comes to helping manage unwanted messages like newsletters and daily deals
  • Outlook.com makes it easier to share photos and Office documents 

That's all fine and dandy, but what Outlook needs to do to be competitive is always improve and refine the product. Which they have, some updates you can expect to see show up in your inbox over the next few weeks are:

  • One-click Archive: from the inbox, select messages and click the Archive button to move the selected messages to the Archive folder (or any other folder of your choice). It's a fast and simple way to move messages out of your inbox to find later.
  • More and more keyboard shortcuts: Outlook.com has dozens of keyboard shortcuts and we're adding even more. And better yet, we don't need to list them all in this post because you can now find all available keyboard shortcuts by simply typing a question mark when you're in your inbox. 
  • More customization of your inbox: we added several new ways to make your inbox look and work the way you want. More color themes. The ability to toggle "reply" and "reply all" as the default option. The ability to toggle between jumping to the inbox or next message after deleting an email.
  • Outlook app for Android: If you have a Windows Phone or iPhone, you won't need a dedicated app since Exchange ActiveSync is supported. Android is a different beast, and the solution was a dedicated app. You can get that here.

All said and done, those are some great features to an otherwsie already great email client. Do any of you guys use Outlook.com or are you thinking of making the switch? Let us know below.

Souce:  Outlook Blog

 

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Comments

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abond32 says:

Been down since LIVE got my free gigs during the outlook switch. Don't use Gmail as much

jkarasch says:

I use and love it.

Same, love it. Have they launched the calendar properly anywhere yet? Its still ugly hotmail skin in Australia

GoSounders says:

It's all Windows 8 like (minimalist) in the US

jsnod25 says:

You can try a US proxy server to log into it and see what it looks like, or any other country server for that matter. I used to use a proxy for isohunt when they had to change their search displays to cashed info only, but that was years ago, and it did work.

theprawn says:

Still ugly old calendar here in my corner of the us

Ugly old calendar here in Las Vegas, NV, too.

It's better than the Competition

jbrandonf says:

People want consistency! It's why we lambast devs for not sticking to Metro guidelines.

ravi.tandon says:

I switched after I bought my first WP two years ago....

WPmunkey says:

Time haxors brah

Prodigy11 says:

How can I take xxxx.xxxx@outlook.com to work besides my current xxxx.xxxx@hotmail.com? At some point, I read that it is possible to use both (just need to activate the outlook.com counterpart), but now I'm not able to find that kind of option anywhere under outlook.com.
 
Thanks for any help!

JoelT_LR says:

You go to the settings in Outlook.com and its called "Create an Oulook alias" under the "Managing your account" section.  Easy to do and you can set it so that they go to their own inbox or just jumble in with the rest.

fwaits says:

Click the little gear icon in the top right and go to more mail settings. Then click the Create an Outlook alias.

Onager1286 says:

When are they going to update the web calendar?

fwaits says:

Yeah was hoping they would have that updated by the W8/WP8 launch.

nzrocketman says:

I Find it crap when trying to sync to my Gmail account. only maybe 5 emais a day get through to outlook from Gmail.  

Redspeed93 says:

I switches from Gmail a few months ago because I knew I was getting a Windows Phone 8 device. Btw, I agree on all 3 accounts - especially the clean design after Gmails mess of a UI.

KeegdnaB42 says:

Outlook has been amazing and I'm so glad I switched rom gmail. I don't know if it's a new feature or just one I hadn't seen before but when I went to pull up the email with the tracking number for my 8X just a few minutes ago, outlook automatically picks up that it's a shipping confirmation and loads up a mini fedex window within the email.

willied says:

That was a feature in Hotmail as well, and yes, it's very cool. There's even a tab on the left side where you can select just emails with tracking numbers in them.

venetasoft says:

After more then 10 years with outlook application (office), I definitely switched to outlook.com webapp. It's simply amazing, easy, fast and complete.You can add multiple pop3 and imap accounts and create your folders and rules.
Best html5 app implementation on the web too.

Rippin2 says:

Switched a few months ago and never looked back. Gmail does a weak job at stopping spam, outlook handles that much better and that is important to me.

mpjones84 says:

Is it easy to move everything over too outlook? I've reserved my alias I just want to use it with my Microsoft account and keep my 25gb sky drive, any tips?

jainer123 says:

They need to add support for google chat.  I'd switch in a heartbeat, but rely on the chat service.

Ordeith says:

Works with Skype and messenger. No need for chat.

holzlondon says:

Made the switch to outlook from Gmail when i switched from my Nokia N8 to the Lumia 920. I'm more than happy with it. Clean, fast, and the synchronization with windows phone is so smooth. Not looking back at all.

jainer123 says:

And would like to refrain from installing an app, such as googletalk.

nightshrill says:

This is mostly geared towards the android outlook.com app just released and referenced in the article (hence I found it relevant). This is my review of the app on the play store "I use a live/outlook email as my primary email - and clearly own an android phone (running ICS 4.0.4), but I fail to see the point of this application. Microsoft seems to have written a fairly generic program that can do everything android can do natively setting up a "corporate" account (i.e. it can run exchange natively). Android on its own can sync your outlook/live contacts, calendars, and emails - it also has features that some users have mentioned this app lacks, such as being able to flag emails for follow up (native android email client has this). In the 30 minutes I used this application side-by-side with my exchange account set up via build-in android applications I received 3 emails, all 3 of these emails were registered first with native email client and about 5-10 minutes later with outlook (both set to "push"). If Microsoft is serious about offering it's own email client-specific app for android they should put some work into its functionality to be at least up to par w/google's code, or they could even bring some of the windows phone ui w/the app. But as it stands now this app was not even worth the programmer's time to write."

venetasoft says:

We are talking about desktop usage. Outlook.com mobile web app is nice too, but obviously WP integrated mail management is the first choice (it outperforms android implementation too :)

Xeion says:

The only thing that keeps my gmail account around is the hidious hotmail calendar. When they create a clean calendar program I would be out of Google fast as can be. Heres to hoping that's Microsoft's next project.

Odog4ever says:

Yeah, don't know why they are dragging their feet on metro-fying the Calendar piece.

SkywardKing says:

I don't use any of those email sites anymore, since i've been using the Windows 8 email app.

dalydose says:

I have two main email addresses.  1 is a gmail.com address and the other is my own domain.  I'd leave the gmail.com on gmail because it needs to be there AND I have people on GChat...although, I'm recruiting people to Skype.  For my domain, I currently use Google Apps/GMail.  Can I have Outlook.com be my mail provider for my domain?  How much storage does it have??
Also, my domain is already the Live ID/Microsoft Account that I use for the phone.  I don't know if that matters, but I thought I'd throw that it.

poddie says:

The issue is that Outlook.com cannot use your mail server to send.  So when you send an email through Outlook.com using your personal domain, it shows up in the recipient's box with all that "on behalf of" crap that makes it a scary looking emial to read.
 
This makes it useless for my purposes unfortunately.

Ordeith says:

For your own domain look into office 365: hosted exchange, office, and SharePoint for $4/month. Blows Google apps away.

poddie says:

Actually, you have to move up to the $20/month Midsize Business E3 plan to get Office included.
And you have to have the $6 P1 plan to use your own domain for email.  This is the one I use and it's great.

mamilo1 says:

I've been using Hotmail since the 90's. Why should I switch to Outlook? Is there any incentive?

Odog4ever says:

  • Clean UI
  • Integrated previewing of Office documents using office web apps
  • In-line viewing of images, YouTube videos, and shipping info from FedEx, UPS, and USPS
  • Automatic filtering of newletters, GroupON, and Living Social email without having to set up rules

 
At least these are the reason why it has become my goto email. If all of those thing are already in hotmail then you can stay put I guess.

mamilo1 says:

Hmm. That sounds interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks.

Ordeith says:

You can sign into Outlook.com with your hotmail account and just use it without changing anything.

mamilo1 says:

Huh? That's even better. Thanks for the tip.

GoSounders says:

See that steep climb an day 1, 2 and 3; I'm one of those.  Actually 4, since I signed my whole family up for new accounts.  So far it's great.  One handy tip, Outlook.com allows you to pull mail every so often from your pop mail account (I use Comcast.net mail), it's more responsive (you get your mail quicker) if you forward the mail from your pop mail Outlook.com mail address.  Comcast supports this and likely most others support this too. 

Freizjah says:

How can I change my xxxx@live.com address to xxxx@outlook.com to have all settings, all bought apps and everything the same like my @live one? Is it possible? Thanks

theprawn says:

Go to the settings, select "create outlook alias"

hopmedic says:

I'd like to use outlook.com, if I could move my live to it which has my 25 gigs, msdn, windows phone dev acct, pub center, Bing rewards, WP purchases, and so much more since I became a WP dev...

blackhawk556 says:

That's what i did. Im still using my windows phone id but I switched over to the new look.  I know you can't switch the domain to outlook.com but you could use the new refreshed UI. You still keep your 25 GB as well :)

tgr42 says:

For the past couple of months, I've been auto-forwarding my email to Outlook.com so I can use it without any risk or commitment and access my email from my phone.  Overall I'm pretty impressed.  It is overly aggressive about spam - a good percentage of legit mail ends up in the spam folder, but this is not a dealkiller.  The biggest problem is that, like most online services, there's no backup capability.  I'm just supposed to trust them.  No thanks.  Maybe if they ever solve that, I'll be able to make it directly responsible for handling mail for my personal domain.

Odog4ever says:

Yahoo mail refugee here.
LOVE Oulook.com mail. Always had a gmail account but used it for spam.

Oh man..i thought I was the only one with a erstwhile Yahoo account

jorge386 says:

I had a hotmail address and I switched it to live. What the difference between live, hotmail, and outlook.com. What's better to have?

zikifer says:

No real difference, other than the baggage a hotmail email account carries in public opinion (when it first came out it was a haven for spammers). Functionally they are all the same.

jorge386 says:

Thanks!! Thought I would have to switch again.

zikifer says:

I switched from Gmail a few months ago and I love it. What I really hope is that they start adding outlook.com features to the W8 and WP8 email clients (mainly interested in category support but things like updating filters would be nice, too).

tamm0r says:

I'm one of those rare Mac users with a WP7 phone. Unfortunately outlook.com doesn't support IMAP so I cannot use it with my Apple Mail client (I mean seriously, is is that hard to implement IMAP support?). As soon as they do I'll give it a try!

Ordeith says:

It uses exchange ActiveSync, which Apple supports. Set it up as an exchange account.

DalekSnare says:

I switched because it's better with Outlook on the desktop. Google's calendar sync program is super annoying, prompting you for your password every few minutes whenever outlook isn't running.

endacrowley says:

Why does my mail send with my alias email address from my WP rather than my non alias full name address? Anyone know how to solve this without having to delete one's alias?

a7medo778 says:

i want IMAP ( or what ever its called)
if i read my email on my phone, it should be marked as read in my inbox like gmail does
 
other than that... i wont make the switch

cedarlog says:

its beautiful, fast and easy

mayur89 says:

I love outlook n i hate gmail :/ i made d acc jst to access utube :P

ScytheNoire says:

Been a Gmail user for a long, long time but I have made an Outlook account for my professional stuff and I've been very impressed at how good it is. It is a huge step up from their previous offerings and I like it a lot. It's a tough battle between Gmail and Outlook right now as to which is better, but I much prefer the Outlook interface and design.

uopjo6 says:

Did you guys just sync contacts from gmail directly or did you export gmail contacts and imported them back into Outlook?

syncing directly from google limits editing right? If there is no advantage I guess just importing all the contacts again is easier? Not sure about this. If I unlink google from my peoples hubs will it unlink my email too? 

Ivanr53 says:

It's better than the competitors.

sanien says:

Using it from day one and loving it! 1000x better than Hotmail imo, but please fix the calendar :-D Looks crap haha. Also got my free 25gb to be used with my "supar naice" Lumia 920!

kurotsuki says:

I rarely use it anymore. Why should I use outlook.com ... when those particular emails are sent directly to my Lumia and my email client on Windows 8 (^_^)a

Localhorst86 says:

I myself am impressed with outlook.com and recently I switched my live account from my gmail account over to a new outlook.com account (as I needed a new "professional" email adress with my real name anyways and in contrast to gmail outllook allows the usage of underscores). I still hardly use it as I am using my Windows phone 7 and the Windows 8 client to send emails but the whole of outlook.com looks very clean, professional and feature packed. 1000 times better than the old hotmail UI.
I might actually try to phase out my gmail account completely, it's just gonna take a while as I have been using it as my primary email address since day 1 :)

tranite says:

How does the Outlook.com alias work with Windows Phone 8? I have some aliases I use with Outlook.com, that is moved to a separate folder and not the Inbox, and then it don't show up on my WP... Is there a way to fix this? I really want my aliases to show on my WP as well, because I use them, the one of them mainly, rather much.. Hope for some help on this :)

Localhorst86 says:

if you move it to a new folder, you should only have to sync that folder in your windows phone client (i.e. open your email account, go to your alias folder, select it and select "synchronize folder".
 
Note that you are not able to send emails using your alias from your phone, the phone will always use your "regular" email (at least it's that way on Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8)

mpjones84 says:

Any advice for completely switching from GMail to Outlook, I current have my live ID set up to a GMAIL account and I would rather use my outlook email address, and not just as a alias as you cannot connect your phone up to it.
 
Cheers

Sotfig says:

Outlook.com is fantastic. If the would include the task options on regular outlook it would become even better.