Today in a blog post Microsoft covers the benefits of choosing a Microsoft email service instead of Gmail. They even create an 'infographic' (really more of a table) to help customers see the differences in Outlook.com, Outlook Web App (OWA), and Gmail. For most customers Microsoft would suggest using Outlook.com, and for businesses Outlook Web App. How does Microsoft make this comparison?
The company lists advantages of their email solutions in messaging, contact imports, offline use, security, speed of clearing inbox, controlling permissions, sharing calendar, and enterprise social technologies. These advantages are legitimate, but individual customers would have to evaluate their importance on their own.
For consumers looking for a personal solution to their email, some features of Outook.com are more important than others. Quickly and easily sifting through emails to find important ones to reply to while ignoring less important email would be important to most email users. Microsoft points to their Sweep tools in Outlook.com which gathers up stale emails and lets users deal with them in bulk. Accessing emails while your computer is offline is another very useful feature of Outlook.com. Obviously you cannot get new emails while offline, but you can still read and write replies to emails while your computer is not connected to the internet. This could be a widely useful tool, which is offered by OWA and Outlook.com, to people traveling away from a stable internet connection. Gmail does offer this functionality, but only when using Gmail in Chrome.
Businesses have to decide between a range of email service providers. Microsoft thinks they have the best solution especially when compared to Gmail (and Google Apps for Business). Microsoft enables workers to share and control access to their calendars, chat real-time with Lync, and take advantage of enterprise social technologies like Yammer and Sharepoint. The software giant also has an excellent track record with security and compliance by implementing technologies such as Information Rights Management, document fingerprinting, or native Data Loss Prevention measures. For many of these reason Microsoft is king of the enterprise.
Microsoft becomes the obvious winner when you only compare on these points, but some consumers and businesses still choose Gmail. Price is a big factor when it comes to many companies' decision making process. Google can offer a cheap and 'good-enough' email solution. Microsoft thinks they still offer the better service, but is it good enough to keep their customers and win others back from competitors? Only time will tell who is on the winning side of technology's march forward.
What email provider do you use? Do you agree with Microsoft on these points or does Google have something else to offer their customers? Let us know in the comments below!