Switching email services can be a huge decision, and a major chore. You have to notify friends and family members about your new email address, transfer over your contacts and folders, and find a way to get all your messages from one service to the other.
The thought of all that work might discourage you from switching, even if you're not happy with your current email provider. But if you use Google's Gmail and it just isn't working for you anymore, Microsoft wants to simplify the process of moving to Outlook.com.
The software giant on Wednesday introduced new functionality in Outlook.com that lets you easily transfer over all your emails, contacts, and folders from Gmail. The new service is rolling out today and should hit all Outlook.com accounts worldwide over the next several weeks, Dawn Martynuik, director of Outlook.com, told us.
You can access the new tool from your Outlook.com settings, or by clicking here and signing in with your Outlook.com account (if you don't already have an account, you'll be able to sign up for one). From there, you'll have the option to import all your Gmail into a new set of subfolders in Outlook.com.
Next, you'll need to sign in to Gmail and grant the tool access to your account. Once you OK this, the tool will start copying over your email and you'll be navigated back to Outlook.com. After you start the import process, Microsoft will send you instructions on how to set up email forwarding, so that all the messages sent to your Gmail account go to Outlook.com. Once the import is complete, Microsoft will send to a message letting you know it has finished.
For more detailed instructions, including information on your Gmail labels, head over to Microsoft's help site.
Outlook.com, which launched last year and replaces Hotmail, earned four stars in our review. Describing the new Web mail product as "the best thing to happen to email in years," lead software analyst Michael Muchmore touted Outlook.com's integration with Microsoft's SkyDrive cloud services and Office Web apps, as well as the whopping 300MB allowed for file attachments, "compared with 25MB for the next highest competitor."