The never-ending battle between tech titans Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) continues, and this time Microsoft is hoping a different approach will work. Ever since Google launched Gmail, its clean, web-based email service, everyone else has been playing catch up. By everyone else, I mean Yahoo! and Microsoft's Hotmail. For years, Microsoft has been trying to battle Gmail by refining and improving the Hotmail system, but those efforts haven't been successful for the OS Giant. As a result, Microsoft has decided to take its battle with Gmail in a new direction.

Building a Better Mousetrap

Recently, Microsoft has decided that Hotmail just isn't going to cut it anymore. Gmail recently overtook the long-reigning e-mail service in numbers of active users, according to a June article published by VentureBeat. While facelifts and retweaking the user experience have their marginal benefits, Microsoft intends to dump its e-mail mainstay and promulgate its new response to Google's mail darling: outlook.com. For years now, Gmail has been widely considered the cleanest and easiest web-based mail system. Tech junkies, by their nature, are always looking for something better and Microsoft hopes to deliver that and more with outlook.com. To be sure, many of the internal functions of Outlook.com will be brought over from Hotmail. However, what Microsoft aims to do is make something different and better for users.

According to online industry publication AllThingsD, the biggest difference with outlook.com is the appearance of the inbox, naturally the most important thing to an email user. If you've ever used Outlook at work, outlook.com will look like a cleaner adaptation of that. On the left hand side of the page, there will be a column listing all the Folders (Inbox, Sent Mail, etc.) and in the middle of the page will be the main text box. The right hand side of the page will have an area that displays the contact information of the person you are emailing. That contact page will be linked to social media, so if you have a Facebook connection, you will be able to utilize additional features, such as status updates.

Will It Work?


The ultimate question of course, is will outlook.com succeed in going up against Gmail? While Microsoft plans to eventually transition all Hotmail accounts over to outlook.com, they recognize the need for new users. According to Microsoft's Brian Hall, "the first goal is for outlook.com to attract tens of millions of new users..." Microsoft wants to attract the younger crowd who want ease of use and functionality. Gmail succeeded because it was so easy to use that people with other email accounts set up Gmail.

Microsoft also claims that outlook.com will have a strong security solution that could rival or surpass in quality the current security filters on Google. Security is an important issue in email. Everyone hates getting spam mail and no wants to have their email accounts hacked. If outlook.com can indeed succeed with an enhanced security system, the company will have an easier time attracting new users. Add in the fact that outlook.com will allow users easier access to social media from their email, and it could prove to be stiff competition for Gmail. Moreover, Microsoft intends on adjusting its ad placements in the inbox to be less intrusive than its e-mail flagship's.

The Bottom Line
It's evident from all the times that Microsoft has tried to improve Hotmail that the company is really focused on developing a superior email product. Then again, the folks at Google are no fools, either; perhaps they have something up their sleeve to improve Gmail? In any event, consumers stand to win when businesses compete for their loyalty.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    Build a Retirement Portfolio for a Different World

    When it comes to retirement rules of thumb, the financial industry is experiencing new guidelines and the new rules for navigating retirement.
  2. Fundamental Analysis

    10 Major Companies Tied to the Apple Supply Chain

    Apple has one of the best supply-chain models. Here are some of the top businesses involved, and the benefits and challenges for all.
  3. Term

    Why You Should Consider Investing In the Tech Industry

    The technology industry offers huge investment opportunities.
  4. Stock Analysis

    Net Neutrality: Pros and Cons

    The fight over net neutrality has become an amazing spectacle. But at its core, it's yet another skirmish in cable television's war to remain relevant.
  5. Forex Education

    China's Devaluation of the Yuan

    Just over one week ago the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) surprised markets with three consecutive devaluations of the yuan, knocking over 3% off its value.
  6. Investing

    The Rise of Corporate Venture Capital

    After the success of Google Ventures, corporate venture capital is an increasingly popular diversification and hedging tool for many large corporations.
  7. Personal Finance

    A Day in the Life of an Equity Research Analyst

    What does an equity research analyst do on an everyday basis?
  8. Investing

    What’s Plaguing Twitter and Yelp?

    Yelp and Twitter have recently become grounded in reality and unable to justify their sky-high stock valuations.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged

    Find out about the PowerShares S&P 500 Downside Hedged ETF, and learn detailed information about characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Hard-To-Sell Asset

    An asset that is extremely difficult to dispose of either due ...
  3. Sucker Yield

    When an investor has essentially risked all of his capital for ...
  4. PT (Perseroan Terbatas)

    An acronym for Perseroan Terbatas, which is Limited Liability ...
  5. Ltd. (Limited)

    An abbreviation of "limited," Ltd. is a suffix that ...
  6. BHD (Berhad)

    The suffix Bhd. is an abbreviation of a Malay word "berhad," ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

COMPANIES IN THIS ARTICLE
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!