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Microsoft tries to poach Gmail users with Outlook import tool

Offers a one-way trip
Thu Dec 12 2013, 09:47
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AGGRESSIVE SOFTWARE MARKETING OUTFIT Microsoft has announced a service that makes it easier for users to import Gmail accounts to Outlook.

In a brazen attempt to lure users from rival email service Gmail, the automated migration functionality built into Outlook guides users through a step by step process to transfer messages and contacts from Gmail to the Microsoft webmail service using Oauth.

"There are people who aren't quite as happy with their email service. For example, discontent with Gmail seems to be on the rise," jeered Microsoft at Google in a Microsoft Office blog post. "Of course, even if you are frustrated with your current provider, the thought of switching to a new service can seem daunting. So we've introduced new functionality right into Outlook.com that does the heavy lifting for you."

The tool will import Gmail emails into an Outlook.com inbox and, because it connects both accounts, users' Google contacts will automatically appear in Outlook.com. However, 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," Microsoft bragged.

To begin the process, users start by establishing and signing in to an Outlook.com account here, then clicking "start". They then need to sign in to Gmail and grant the Microsoft tool access to their Gmail account. Once they okay this, Microsoft will start copying their Gmail email into their Outlook account and they'll be navigated back to Outlook.com.

The import happens in the background, so users can continue using Outlook.com or even log out while it's running. Once the import is complete, Microsoft will send them an email to let them know it has completed successfully. µ

 

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