Outlook vs. Gmail

Published on Monday, August 15, 2011 By Brad Wardell In Personal Computing

I’ve been an Outlook user for years.  But in the past several months, I’ve been migrating more and more to Gmail. The email still goes through our company server to and from ultimately but Gmail is just a better mail reader.

Here’s what’s changed:

  1. Gmail now has a way of identifying “important” emails. I don’t know how its algorithm works but it works quite well.
  2. Gmail has insanely good spam filtering.
  3. Gmail has mouse gesture support (I hold down the right mouse button and drag left or right to go to next message).
  4. Gmail has added copy and pasting of images into emails. This was a big show stopper.

The only thing I really miss outlook for is its editor.  I use outlining a lot in emails and Gmail just has nothing like that yet. 

Another nice thing about Gmail is that you don’t have to store the messages locally. This matters for tech companies in an era of patent trolling litigation and the like where you are expected to be able to quickly hand over email on a particular subject to legal.  Storing emails locally long-term is not practical.

Ironically, Windows Live mail, while visually pretty, is still very far behind.  Given how much Microsoft continues to charge for Outlook, I fear its future is in doubt.