Microsoft and Google have been always known as competitors. But everyone was startled with the news that Outlook.com is letting users integrate their Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar into their Outlook.com account. This feature will let users interact with and share content between Outlook and Google. This is a good change for those who were in need of this option to use it from their browser. This integration has already been rolled out to some accounts.
You can now simply link your Gmail to outlook account and after the setup is ready, your mail, Drive documents, and Google Calendar will be displayed on Outlook.com on the web. The setup is almost similar to how Outlook works for Android and iOS with separate inboxes and side-by-side integration in the calendar.
Furthermore, Google Drive integration allows quickly attaching documents and files from Google’s service to Outlook or Gmail. This feature is mainly useful for those who use a personal Outlook.com account and a G Suite email account for work. It has not been very clear that Why Microsoft is integrating Google services into Outlook.com but as far the reason came out it could be to combine work and personal emails.
Lately, Microsoft has rolled out the feature in beta to a large number of Outlook users, however, point to be noted is the feature is not available to everyone and will only show up if you are Premium member of Outlook, it can be paid or free as a part of Office 365.
Now, let’s see how it is going to help the users.
Once the integration is available, a pop-up message will appear in the Outlook.com inbox, along with a new ‘Add Account’ icon in the sidebar as shown in the Outlook app on mobile.
Or you can check by clicking the bullhorn-shaped ‘Announcements’ icon and then Try it on the top left corner of the screen, which is right next to your profile icon.
The experience of using it can be quite uncomfortable as it is a beta version. You may face some difficulty in sorting between Gmail or Outlook inbox.
Google Calendar integration can be called as one of the best things. You will be able to see the same calendar meetings and appointments of your Microsoft calendar app of your phone on Outlook.com. When you will create a calendar meeting on your phone, there is no need to go back into Gmail.com to check it, check reminders and so on. You just need to open Outlook.com, switch to Google account and click on the ‘Calendar’ icon to view the information you are looking for.
Even if you use multiple calendars, the same toggle options from the Google Calendar in the left bar have to be used to create more calendars or switch between them.
Next comes Google Drive integration using which you can easily share files in Outlook that are stored in Google’s online cloud storage service. So if you are emailing someone who prefers Google’s cloud storage service over other options, this will be a treat to them.
To use this, toggle over to Gmail in Outlook using the ‘Try it’ option. After that, you will be able to access Google Drive by selecting the Browse cloud locations option. A pop-up will appear to choose Google Drive following a list of your recent files, click the one you want to share. Use the search box to pick a file if you are not able to see it on the list.
You can also view the recent attachment and if you want to use OneDrive in Gmail, click on ‘add an account’. After selecting the file, you can decide whether to share as a Google Drive link or Attach as a copy. You can even set your choice as a default option. The process of selecting files is similar to when choosing files via OneDrive with Outlook.com or Microsoft email account.
All in all, it is pretty convenient to access Gmail via Outlook.com and you will get the same experience when you use the Outlook app. This will let you easily access your emails, calendar, and Google Drive files without needing to open Google’s websites. The feature has still a long way to go but still, it is great for those who prefer the user experience out of Outlook.com. Rumors have been making the rounds that the Android-powered Surface Duo will be coming up later this year.
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