Trying to choose between Gmail and Microsoft Outlook is not a straightforward decision and requires some hard thinking before any final decision is reached. In all honestly Google are one of the only viable alternatives to the dominance of the Microsoft software empire.
I remember when rumours began spreading that Google was moving into the applications marketplace, specifically email it was exciting news.
There was a lot of talk of cloud computing, collaborative work and the end of Microsoft’s period reining supreme in the office software market – all of which a few years down the line have made inroads and much progress, yet not enough to topple the mighty Microsoft Office suite and Hotmail service.
Lets take a look at how the typical businesses needs size up Google’s Gmail service compared with Microsoft Outlook:
Outlook is very much a universal program. Every business I have worked in during my career has relied on outlook in some manor or another, with the introduction of Google Apps – which are free for up to a certain number of users there is a serious contender and valuable alternative to functionality provided by outlook.
Through Google Apps it is possible to setup your email@example.com use online calendars both collaborative and private as well as produce and share documents in a really intuitive and simple way.
Outlook’s email has been tried and tested, it works well. Gmail’s simple browser based email client is often considered superior and its certainly faster loading and better at finding relevant emails when searching (no surprises there, thanks Google!) my personal favourite function is the threaded view which clumps threaded emails together in an easy to manage way.
Copying chunks of email from one email to another is something I find really difficult in Gmail, one browser isn’t always enough.
Google grants free storage into the Gigabytes, as long as you don’t exceed this limit and clean-up/backup old emails it’s easy to remain within. Outlook on the other hand requires a package and can turn out fairly costly.
I love the way in which Gmail can organise and archive e-mails, simply label e-mails to organise them, archive them to move them from your inbox or use the traditional flag method, flagging is available in both Outlook and Gmail.
Gmail if you don’t have an inbuilt browser spell check (as I found out recently) will constantly tell you there are typographical errors when in fact it is your business name, acronym or a different dialect of English. By contrast Outlook integrates nicely with the rest of Office and shares a customised dictionary which once you add a spelling it remembers.
All in all Google Apps and Gmail are a really big competitor and threat to Microsoft Outlook as well as the Hotmail web based platform and any other similar web based e-mail clients.
It’s worth considering if you are starting out in business, as it is truly scalable and reliable – I couldn’t begin to calculate the cost for a complete migration, which would need to be factored in if you have an existing infrastructure. What ever you decide to go with, whether you are migrating or starting a fresh – always be sure to make adequate backups of your e-mail before hand.
About the author: Sarah writes on behalf of Fluid Branding a promotional products specialist. Fluid Branding have thousands of promotional product from promotional umbrellas to calculators, from promotional calendars. Fluid Branding have something for everyone.