I was obsessed with Google and Gmail was my e-mail hub even as a Microsoft fanatic. But with the launch of Windows 8 things have changed as I finally migrated to more Microsoft services (Outlook.com, OneNote, SkyDrive, etc.) from Google (Gmail, Notebook, Google Drive, etc.). And now I really love my Outlook.com Inbox (thanks to Windows Live Admin Center).
Today, the only thing by Google that I really use is the Google search apart from their tools and products (AdSense, AdWords, Analytics, Webmaster Tools, etc.) for marketers and webmasters.
With Outlook.com, Microsoft Is Finally Trying To Be ‘Cool’
10 Reasons Why I Love The New Outlook.com
It’s got a a fresh, clean, and an intuitive interface.
It’s integrated to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn account.
It can recover deleted messages.
It can sort messages (by date, sender, size, etc.) in one-click.
It allows to sign in with a single-use code without entering password.
It allows to create e-mail aliases and can even rename our e-mail id.
It offers virtually unlimited storage space.
It allows to delete, flag, or mark a message as read/unread/junk in one click without opening the message using “Instant actions”.
It’s integrated to SkyDrive.
It offers a huge “Reply” window with no annoying sidebar with ads.
18 Things I Wish The New Outlook.com Could Do
So those were the good things about the new Outlook.com. Now I would like to give you few suggestions to make Outlook.com more powerful and ahead of Gmail.
I’ve already submitted some of the following suggestions when you asked me to use the feedback form on Twitter but I thought to make it more precise here.
1. Enable Faster Fetching Of Emails From Other Accounts
I need faster fetching of e-mails from my other POP accounts as you limit the number of messages to 60 at a time. Unless you do this not many power Gmail users are going to migrate to Outlook.com.
2. Support SMT Server For Outgoing Emails
It’s good that I can add my other POP3 accounts to Outlook.com but since you use your own server to send the mails it shows an annoying “On behalf of” message to the recipient. So introduce SMTP Server support to Outlook.com like in Gmail.
3. Revolutionary App For Mobile Devices
I want to see a Mailbox like revolutionary Outlook.com app for mobile devices so that we don’t have to rely on a third-party e-mail client to manage e-mails.
4. Ability To Delete Default Categories
You should allow users to delete the default Outlook categories like Bills, Newsletters, Shopping, Travel, etc. because personalization is the key to good user experience.
5. Make Outlook.com Search More Powerful
Outlook.com Search sucks! One of the many reasons why I loved Gmail is its Search function. I can find any mail I want from the archived 100,000 messages in just few seconds. So you really have to improve your Search by making it more powerful with more options in advanced search.
6. Make Outlook.com More Responsive
I want Outlook.com to be more responsive. While it’s true that Outlook.com has got an intuitive and a modern design it’s not as responsive as Gmail (especially Search, Switching Folders, Sending Mails, Refresh button, etc.) [Screenshot].
7. Option To Hide “New folder" Button
I hate the "New folder" button on the left navigation as it eats up the space. We really don’t need those buttons as they’re a right-click away or at least you could give us an option to hide those buttons. Don’t you think?
8. Option To Hide “Messaging history” Folder
Your “Messaging history” button should have been simply labeled as “Messaging” (of course with an option to hide that folder) so as to save even more space.
9. Add More Filter Options To “Rules”
Outlook.com’s Rules (in Gmail it’s known as Filters) is a light-year behind Gmail filters. First, we can’t select multiple actions per rule and second it’s not as flexible as Gmail Filters as Gmail offers tons of ways to filter mails.
10. Improve Folders
I love the concept of Labels in Gmail. I’m Okay with Outlook.com’s Folders & Categories but it’s really absurd as it’s possible to move messages from Sent folder to Inbox (or another folder). I’d expect all my Sent messages in the Sent folder itself no matter what.
11. Change The Way You Treat Junk Mail
I see some reports that your Spam filter is superior to Gmail. But what I’ve noticed is that Outlook.com marks most of the mails that come from someone who’s not in my contacts as spam. So Gmail filters works better at least for me as I rarely have to use the "Not spam" button in Gmail.
If there’s a mail in my “Inbox” from someone not in my contacts then it’s quite a hassle as you block the images, links, and attachments in the message. If it’s not Junk mail then why do you even block its contents?
Again, if there’s a mail in my “Junk” folder then I’ve to first click on “Not junk” and then have to unblock the contents and then have to add the sender to “Safe list” so that future messages are not blocked and sent to spam. If I mark a mail as "Not junk" then it basically means that I trust the sender so you don’t have to block the contents and force me to add the sender to “Safe list”.
12. Redefine“Safe and blocked senders” List
You must redefine the way you treat “Safe and blocked senders” list. Instead of forcing me to add senders to safe/block list you could reimagine it by making it a personal safe/block list. That’s if I block a sender then messages from that person should not appear anywhere in my folders – Inbox, Junk, Trash.
13. Standardize Access Domains
I’m very much irritated with the domain names used by Outlook.com and/or Hotmail. Your domains like col002.mail.live.com, col127.mail.live.com, etc. on my web browser’s address bar look ugly to me and must be standardized to just mail.live.com.
14. Unify Individual URLs
Also, each message should have its own unique URL like in Gmail (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#all/unique-id). So that we can copy-paste the URL of a message in another browser and go to the message directly. As of now your URLs are all messed up.
15. Use “Hyphens” Instead Of “Plus” For Sub-addressing
While your Plus addressing (like Gmail) is useful it’s not effective since a ‘plus symbol’ in our e-mail address is considered fishy and is not even recognized by some websites. I understand that you support “hyphens” in usernames but you could have used a “hyphen” instead of “plus” for sub-addressing.
16. Discontinue Outlook.com Plus Accounts Or Give More
I wonder why Hotmail Plus still exists. $19.95 a year for an ad-free Outlook.com with no account expiration? Oh, come on, give something more for my 20 bucks!
17. Give An Ad-Free E-mail Experience
I admit that ads on Outlook.com are not as annoying as in Gmail but ideally you should not display ads on Outlook.com. You are not going to build up a mansion with the earnings from these ads. Instead of showing ads you can integrate Bing Search to Outlook.com without annoying users.
18. IMAP Support & Skype Integration
One more thing! When are you going to support IMAP on Outlook.com and integrate Skype with Outlook.com? And I want to see my new e-mail notifications on Skype.
Having said all that, the new Outlook.com is awesome but it’s not revolutionary. Because the biggest thing that could happen to e-mail has already happened with Gmail. And now, the next big thing that has happened after it is the new Mailbox app as it reinvented the Inbox.