Blog Post

Man bites dog: Microsoft embraces Gmail users

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Microsoft(s msft) is making it easier for users of its email to chat and collaborate with Gmail(s goog) users.

Or, as the Microsoft blog post announcing the move put it:

“… you can already chat with your Facebook and Skype friends. But we heard that some of you who switched over from Gmail still want to chat with friends stuck on Gmail. Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now also chat with your Google friends.” (Emphasis is mine.)(s fb)

And lest you still think we’ve entered a new era of good feelings, remember that Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign is still active, as I was reminded by one of my colleagues.

So, if you’re reading an email from a Gmail user, you can reply with a chat icon from your inbox. Or, if you and your Google-oriented buddy are collaborating on a document in Microsoft Skydrive (as opposed to, say, Google Drive), you can send an instant message to your Google contact with the click of a button. Microsoft is also rolling out Google Chat integration.

Basically, Microsoft is asking its users to use its automated process to connect with all their contacts on other services.


The timing is interesting here. Tomorrow, Google kicks off its big Google I/O conference in San Francisco. And, Microsoft is coming off a rather rocky migration of millions of its Hotmail users to (To be fair, Google Drive has seen its own share of snafus lately.)

To be sure, Microsoft Office remains the desktop productivity giant but given this move, it’s clear it’s feeling pressure from Google Apps and Gmail.


This story was updated at 7:07 PDT to add the Scroogled reference.

2 Responses to “Man bites dog: Microsoft embraces Gmail users”

  1. mariusa

    One reason to use more is being free to use on your own domain ( Google removed the free version of Google Apps, which was better than many “email hosting” paid offerings one gets from a domain registrar.

    Any other *good* free webmail alternatives on custom domains, besides Outlook?