If you haven’t heard, Microsoft has launched Outlook.com, a browser version of its widely used Outlook email client. Most of us have used Outlook at one point or another in business environments or at home. Microsoft is attempting to take over the web market that is dominated by Yahoo, Gmail, and believe or not, AOL. Although Microsoft already has Hotmail, it has been losing users to Gmail and other email clients. I tried out the new Outlook.com, and tested for you, and here are my results.
Outlook.com is basically a trendy web version of Outlook 2013. It gives that feel of Windows 8 and functions just like you would imagine. If you are familiar with Outlook, it is very easy to pick up and start using right away. Its integration of a calendar, messenger that can integrate with Facebook chat, contacts that can pull from Facebook or Twitter, and Skydrive online storage make it an all in one service. Perhaps that is why Google just integrated its Cloud storage solution, Google Drive, into Gmail. In the top left of the screen they have a drop down box that allows you to go into your calendar, skydrive, mail, or contacts.
I did however run into some issues while using Outlook.com. Every few login attempts would fail, some emails were slow to arrive, and some went to junk when they shouldn’t have. Minor issues, but definitely troublesome. With so many great options out there, Microsoft can’t afford to make any mistakes if they want this to take off.
What I Like:
- Easy to use/Familiarity for previous Outlook users
- Reading Pane allows you to preview messages without opening them
- Facebook chat integration
- Contact Imports from Facebook, Twitter, and other sources
- Skydrive integration
- Ability to change color schemes
What I Dislike:
- Failing Login Attempts
- Slow to receive emails (sometimes)
- Built in Calendar uses Hotmail (not rebuilt)
- Previewing message took a couple minutes to load
- Doesn’t allow you to drag and drop attachments into new messages
The verdict? It has some work to be perfect, and it has to be perfect to compete with a fantastic webmail client like Gmail. HTML5 support is a must, and increasing reliability and speed need to be a priority. Other than that, it is a good start, and it has potential. Have you tried the new Outlook.com? Let us know what you think!