Microsoft gives Outlook site an easier import tool, encouraging Gmail users to make the switch

Microsoft loves to attack Google, and its latest act of war is a better import tool that makes it easier for Gmail users to switch to Outlook.com.

"Today, we are announcing a new service that makes it easier than ever to import your Gmail account to Outlook.com. This will be rolling out to everyone over the coming weeks, so if you don't have access to it yet, check back soon," explained Microsoft in a blog post. "We encourage you to try the tool for yourself and tell us what you think."

Gmail users always had the ability to import their messages to Outlook.com, but IMAP support allows Microsoft to offer a new switching tool. The tool copies all mail from a Gmail account and enables Outlook.com users to access their Gmail contacts and Google Talk within Outlook. The tool also copies Gmail labels and their structures, meaning users will experience a complete and seamless transfer from Gmail.

The import happens in the background, or on the server side rather, with most-recent emails importing first. This import capability is similar to what Microsoft previously provided with POP3 support, though it was much more complex to get going and didn't include labels or read status. Also, once the import from Gmail to Outlook.com is complete, Microsoft will send an email to let you know that everything is done.

READ: Outlook.com vs Gmail

Microsoft’s new import method and tool is much easier, and it's a prime example of how Microsoft is targeting Gmail users. Another example occurred earlier this year, when Microsoft announced Google Talk support in a bid to entice Gmail users to its to free email service.



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