Microsoft’s new Outlook.com email service has reached the 1 million-user milestone in India, as the Redmond-based technology company continues its duel with Google’s very own Gmail.
According to Microsoft’s data, the service currently has 25 million users globally, with a significant growth recorded just after the company rolled out Outlook.com in August.
Indian users, however, have shown a growing interest in Microsoft’s email service and company executives claim this is actually no surprise.
“India is an interesting market for us because it’s one of the few markets where Hotmail was number one and that really switched over to Gmail. About three-four years ago, Google search, Gmail and Orkut were very strong, not to mention Android growing like mad. It was Google’s best market in many ways. Now we see an opportunity to win people back,” Microsoft’s Windows General Manager Brian Hall told Business Line.
Outlook.com still struggles to convince users that its features are much better than Gmail’s, Google’s very own email service that’s currently considered the leader of this particular web-based service.
According to a study conducted by an unnamed research firm hired by Microsoft, most Gmail users actually prefer Outlook.com’s clear user design and think that Microsoft’s service makes it easier to share photos and Office documents.
“The best part was, after spending just five days with it, 4 out of 5 of these Gmail users said they would switch to Outlook.com. We asked the Gmail users to sign-up for Outlook.com addresses, forward email from Gmail to Outlook.com, and try Outlook.com's best features. The Gmail users loved it,” David Law, director, Product Management, Outlook.com, said.
Microsoft expects “tens of millions of Gmail users” to dump Google’s email service and switch to Outlook.com, so a significant growth is also expected to occur in 2013.
“I think tens of millions of people will switch from Gmail – which has surpassed Hotmail in terms of worldwide market share — to Outlook, but tens of millions of people will still keep Gmail,” Hall concluded.