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The fight between Microsoft Corp and Google Inc for the dominance of the email space, has become a full-fledged battle with the former announcing a new service that will allow users to switch from Gmail to its Outlook.com mail service.
The option is not available to all Outlook.com users and be rolled to everyone in the coming weeks. The functionality will let users link their Gmail accounts and then import Gmail emails into their Outlook.com inbox. This will also port all their Google contact.
"The structure of your inbox, including read/unread status of your emails, will be preserved. The new tool will even set up your Gmail address as a send-only account so you can continue to send email from your @gmail.com address, right from Outlook.com, if you still want to," said a Microsoft release.
The company quoted a recent study by market research firm Ipsos which claimed nearly one in four consumers would switch mail providers if it was easier to do. That study also highlighted the areas that customers identified as most important -- these include ensuring ads don't interfere with the email experience (70%), offering advanced spam filters (69%), providing an easy-to-understand user interface (67%), and not scanning the contents of email to serve ads (58%).
"We have focused on many of these areas with Outlook.com, and so for those looking to make a change in their personal email provider, Outlook.com is a natural choice," said Microsoft.
Now to see if Google has something to say about this.