In this day and age, you’re either an Outlook person or a Gmail person. And with many businesses and workplaces making the choice already for you, you can find yourself stuck with using Gmail even though you prefer Outlook. Would it be nice if there was a clean, easy, integration between them?
While we don’t expect the Office 365 suite to offer a direct, native, integration with Gmail any time soon, Microsoft is currently testing a direct, native integration between Google’s Gmail and Google Calendar with their web-based mail and calendar product, Outlook.com.
Currently if your business or workplace is using GSuite, the integration with Outlook is clunky at best, and probably requires someone with time, knowledge of both platforms and access to some interesting migration and connection tools to pull it off. And of course, as soon as there is change at either end, usually the Microsoft end, the connection can break and your synchronised calendar is no longer doing what it’s supposed to.
And while Gmail is a lot more agnostic about who it offers integrations with (in fact it has a native synch feature already for Office 365, Outlook and older-style mail Exchange servers, it doesn’t go evenly both ways. But the new Microsoft is opening up more and more. The recent move to stop using Microsoft’s own Edge browser as a base, and to use a Chromium-based browser under the Edge name instead, along with the company’s recent purchase of open-source developer tool, GitHub, has meant that the Microsoft fortress of old is now a much more open, lean and easy to work with machine.
Before we get too excited by all this, it’s important to note that this only affects the web-based Outlook.com service. Not the full Office 365 desktop suite. But something tells me that we might not be too far off a full integration between the two giants of office productivity as they both allow customers to move more freely between their favourites parts of both worlds. Maybe, eventually using the spam filtering power of Google’s tools in conjunction with Outlooks great organisational power.
We’re not expecting this to be a feature to all users of the Outlook.com product until around Quarter2 of 2020. However, we’ll be keenly watching this, as there are more than a couple of people in my office that like the idea of using their familiar Outlook interface even though we are a 100% Google GSuite office.