Five Ways Outdoes Gmail - and One Way it Doesn't

Rick Broida August 7, 2012
Microsoft's surprisingly good Hotmail replacement offers a lot of business-savvy features. But it stumbles on a major one.

As you'll recall from last week, Microsoft just took the wraps off, a.k.a. the Webmail service formerly known as Hotmail.

Yawn, right? After all, what could possibly bring to the table that Gmail doesn't already have -- or do better?

As it turns out, quite a bit. I've spent the last several days test-driving the new service, and while it's far from perfect, actually offers a number of features that could lure business users away from Gmail.

Here are five areas where I think beats Gmail -- and one where, unfortunately, it comes up short.

1. More storage, larger attachments
Gmail gives you 10GB of email storage space and limits you to attachments of 25MB or less. puts no cap on email storage and lets you send attachments as large as 100MB. In fact, if you link up to your SkyDrive account, you can bump up to 300MB attachments.

2. Smarter filtering
Right out of the box, Outlook automatically sorts incoming messages into buckets like Documents, Photos, and Shipping Updates. One click is all it takes to see all the messages that meet those criteria.

This feature is called Quick Views, and it's insanely handy. Sure, you can accomplish the same thing via Gmail's labels and filters, but this does the work for you.