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The last three months since Outlook.com came out of preview have been filled with releases to help make you more productive and your experience more personal. These were often based on your feedback. There's a new, modern Outlook.com calendar, a refreshed Outlook.com app for Android devices, two step verification for your account, new international domains for your email address, a preview of Skype calling in Outlook.com and deeper integration of SkyDrive directly within Outlook.com.
We believe people choose to use many different services and that our role is to help them connect to the people who matter most, wherever they are. You see this in the People experience, where you connect to your contact lists from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. And you can already chat with your Facebook and Skype friends. But we heard that some of you who switched over from Gmail still want to chat with friends stuck on Gmail. Today, we're excited to announce that you can now also chat with your Google friends. With this feature, the next time you're reading an email from someone who uses Gmail, you can reply with a quick chat right from your Outlook.com inbox. And if you're working together on an Office document in SkyDrive, you can send an instant message to a Google contact with just a click. We're rolling out Google chat integration now, so look for it in your inbox over the next couple of days.
In the past, the way you added contact data into an email account or social network was to manually enter all the info or import your contacts from another account. Then, if you wanted to send an IM to someone, you had to invite them and have them accept your invite. We respect the fact that you use many different services and have invested a great deal of time and effort in building those contact lists, and so we believe the best approach is to help you to connect to the services you already use.
Once your services are connected, you can see all of your contacts together in one place. And since you are often connected to a person through more than one service, we automatically match up contacts that are the same and link them together. Of course, you can also link any contacts we missed or unlink any contacts that don't belong together.
The result is an uncluttered contact list full of people you really know. At a glance, you can see a quick summary of a contact with information from across all those networks. And you're just one click away from common tasks like sending an email, calling a number, mapping an address, or starting a chat, on any of the services you've connected!
This doesn't just work for your contacts on Outlook.com and SkyDrive. We use the same model in the People app for Windows and the People hub for Windows Phone.
Your contacts are synched with the secure, industry-standard OAuth protocol used by our partners like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This helps you stay in control of your data and who has access to it.
When you open the Messaging pane in Outlook.com or SkyDrive, you'll see a message that helps you set up chat with your Google contacts. Just click it to get started; setup will only take a minute.
As part of setting up the connection, you'll see Google's authorization flow. This is how Google helps you control which services can access your Google information. Clicking "Allow access" will allow Microsoft's chat and contacts services to connect to Google and set up chat. You're in control of this connection and can change it at any time at https://profile.live.com/services.
That's it! In just a few moments, you'll see your Google contacts appear in your contact list. Click on their picture to start a conversation with someone or search for any of your Google contacts right from the Messaging pane.
The messaging experience works across your Outlook.com inbox, calendar and People contact list, as well as SkyDrive.com. If you're working together on a document with a Google friend, you can be chatting with them at the same time without leaving SkyDrive. You can even share a link to the document and edit it together in real time!
Google chat integration will be available to everyone worldwide in the next few days. While it's rolling out, you might notice a few quirks if you're jumping around between SkyDrive and Outlook.com, but that will be resolved as soon as the rollout is complete. If you're like most people, you'll see it appear first in SkyDrive and then in your inbox and People page. If you don't see it in your inbox quite yet, it's on the way!
If you aren't one of the over 400 million people who are already using Outlook.com, we encourage you to give it a try. If you're a Google customer today, it's even easier to make the switch. And we think that more of you will soon be talking about how your Google friends have gone to Outlook.com.
Let us know what you think of this new chat integration. As with any new experience we build, we'll be listening to feedback and welcome your comments!
-- Douglas Pearce, Group Program Manager, Connected Services
So we'll have built-in Google Talk in our Windows Phones too? I hope so! That would be awesome!
This was unexpected. Hopefully this makes it to Windows Phone's Messages app and Windows' Messages app as well. They're lacking since the demise of Messenger. Make them complete IM hubs: Skype, Google Talk, SMS, Twitter direct messages, Facebook chat...
OR make a Messages API so apps like IM+ can integrate into the Messages app or your Microsoft account for pure IM bliss.
That's awesome. Making the switch looks an easier decision. But, still I can't make it until you add IMAP support, I know this is being asked a lot, but one more time wouldn't hurt. I don't have exchange on my mail client. Pleas add it.
Plus, if I migrate from gmail to outlook, how do are my mails retrieved? Through POP? This means that I will get only the mails from my inbox, am I right?
Anyway, keep up the awesome work, Outlook looks great...
This is indeed great news. Google chat uses XMPP, right? Does that mean there's the possibility of wider XMPP support being available at some point?
As a extension of Nicolas Hormazabal's comment:
When will there be a way of migrating email from GMail to Outlook.com that supports custom domains? That's what's stopping me switching right now. I've got a LOT of historical email, and it's sorted into a whole load of labels/folders.
Is this not yet launched?
Great job! This is absolutely fantastic! This should have been done earlier! This definitely give me a reason to consider switch. Most reactions on twitter seem also very positive: http://t.co/nGRsylPvfK
It's rolling out worldwide over the next few days. If you don't have it yet, check back soon.
That is correct that currently, we only pull in your Google email using POP so it will just pull from your inbox. And you can should also set up mail forwarding which ensures that your new email arrives in Outlook.com. More information here: www.microsoft.com/.../gmail
Now please finally update your Contact/AddressBook solution. Microsoft is still using the 20 years old fields of Mobile and Mobile 2. Brake these pre-set labels free.
My Google Contacts with multiple "Mobile" (different) numbers are not showing correctly on Microsoft People. And if I edit a Google Contact using PeopleHub/Outlook Contacts and add a second Mobile as Mobile 2, it appears to Google Contacts as Car Phone. Pffff... Its a mess.
Please finally update your contacts infrastructure and offer modern solution like Google and Apple.
We want to have a Contact with as many cell phones label as Mobile. Same for Home and email.
Please pass this feedback along.
Also, is GTalk also coming to Windows Phone Messaging hub any time soon?
Once you you set up Google integration on Outlook.com, how can I set it up on my Windows Phone? I've already set it up, but after a few moments the Google symbol went missing from the Outlook.com messaging panel. Also, Skype is nowhere to be found, even though I've already merged it with my messenger account. I can only see Facebook and Messenger on my Outlook messaging panel.
Integrating Skype and WhatsApp to that would also be great!
How can we chat with Google contacts on Messaging app for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8? Will they be available with app updates and software update for WP8 ?
I hope it works on Windows Phone too. That would be great!