Skip to main content 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's clean user design
  • does a better job of blocking spam and it outperforms Gmail when it comes to helping manage unwanted messages like newsletters and daily deals
  • 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: 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 (opens in new tab).

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

Souce:  Outlook Blog (opens in new tab)

  • Been down since LIVE got my free gigs during the outlook switch. Don't use Gmail as much
  • I use and love it.
  • Same, love it. Have they launched the calendar properly anywhere yet? Its still ugly hotmail skin in Australia
  • It's all Windows 8 like (minimalist) in the US
  • 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.
  • 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
  • People want consistency! It's why we lambast devs for not sticking to Metro guidelines.
  • I switched after I bought my first WP two years ago....
  • Time haxors brah
  • How can I take to work besides my current At some point, I read that it is possible to use both (just need to activate the counterpart), but now I'm not able to find that kind of option anywhere under
    Thanks for any help!
  • You go to the settings in 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.
  • Click the little gear icon in the top right and go to more mail settings. Then click the Create an Outlook alias.
  • When are they going to update the web calendar?
  • Yeah was hoping they would have that updated by the W8/WP8 launch.
  • +1
  • +1
  • I Find it crap when trying to sync to my Gmail account. only maybe 5 emais a day get through to outlook from Gmail.  
  • Blame Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • After more then 10 years with outlook application (office), I definitely switched to 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • They need to add support for google chat.  I'd switch in a heartbeat, but rely on the chat service.
  • Works with Skype and messenger. No need for chat.
  • 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.
  • And would like to refrain from installing an app, such as googletalk.
  • This is mostly geared towards the android 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."
  • We are talking about desktop usage. mobile web app is nice too, but obviously WP integrated mail management is the first choice (it outperforms android implementation too :)
  • 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.
  • Yeah, don't know why they are dragging their feet on metro-fying the Calendar piece.
  • I don't use any of those email sites anymore, since i've been using the Windows 8 email app.
  • I have two main email addresses.  1 is a address and the other is my own domain.  I'd leave the 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 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.
  • The issue is that cannot use your mail server to send.  So when you send an email through 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.
  • For your own domain look into office 365: hosted exchange, office, and SharePoint for $4/month. Blows Google apps away.
  • 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.
  • I've been using Hotmail since the 90's. Why should I switch to Outlook? Is there any incentive?
  • 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.
  • Hmm. That sounds interesting. I'll check it out. Thanks.
  • You can sign into with your hotmail account and just use it without changing anything.
  • Huh? That's even better. Thanks for the tip.
  • 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, allows you to pull mail every so often from your pop mail account (I use mail), it's more responsive (you get your mail quicker) if you forward the mail from your pop mail mail address.  Comcast supports this and likely most others support this too. 
  • How can I change my address to to have all settings, all bought apps and everything the same like my @live one? Is it possible? Thanks
  • Go to the settings, select "create outlook alias"
  • I'd like to use, 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...
  • 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 but you could use the new refreshed UI. You still keep your 25 GB as well :)
  • For the past couple of months, I've been auto-forwarding my email to 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.
  • Yahoo mail refugee here.
    LOVE 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
  • I had a hotmail address and I switched it to live. What the difference between live, hotmail, and What's better to have?
  • 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.
  • Thanks!! Thought I would have to switch again.
  • I switched from Gmail a few months ago and I love it. What I really hope is that they start adding features to the W8 and WP8 email clients (mainly interested in category support but things like updating filters would be nice, too).
  • I'm one of those rare Mac users with a WP7 phone. Unfortunately 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!
  • It uses exchange ActiveSync, which Apple supports. Set it up as an exchange account.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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
  • its beautiful, fast and easy
  • I love outlook n i hate gmail :/ i made d acc jst to access utube :P
  • 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.
  • 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? 
  • It's better than the competitors.
  • 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!
  • I rarely use it anymore. Why should I use ... when those particular emails are sent directly to my Lumia and my email client on Windows 8 (^_^)a
  • I myself am impressed with and recently I switched my live account from my gmail account over to a new 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 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 :)
  • How does the alias work with Windows Phone 8? I have some aliases I use with, 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 :)
  • 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)
  • 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.
  • is fantastic. If the would include the task options on regular outlook it would become even better.