Microsoft Says Many Gmail Users Would Consider Switching To, Launches Android App, Conversation Threading & More

In typical Microsoft fashion, the company has announced a number of momentum numbers for and launched quite a few new features for its web-based email service at the same time.

Let’s start with the numbers: Microsoft says (formerly known as Hotmail), now has 25 million active users. Many of the service’s new users, Microsoft says, are switching away from Gmail.

According to the team’s numbers, one-third of users are active Gmail users trying the service for the first time. Microsoft also says that after talking to “hundreds of Gmail users for a panel, 4 out of 5 of these Gmail users said they would switch to”

Here is what this panel told Microsoft:

  • They prefer’s clean user design
  • does a better job of blocking spam and it outperforms Gmail when it comes to helping manage unwanted messages like newsletters and daily deals
  • makes it easier to share photos and Office documents

It’s obviously hard/impossible to verify these numbers for us, so it’s worth taking them with a grain of salt. There can be no doubt, though, that leaving behind the tired Hotmail brand for and giving the service a new streamlined look surely helped Microsoft to get users of other services to at least try

An Android App And Many New Features

Besides these numbers, Microsoft is also announcing a slew of new features, including new customization options and color themes, keyboard shortcuts, one-click archiving and conversation threading, a feature that Gmail obviously helped to popularize. users can now also switch between using “Reply” and “Reply all” as their defaults. You can find the full list of new features here.

Maybe most interestingly, Microsoft is also launching an Outlook app for Android (2.x and higher). Microsoft typically launches its mobile apps (besides its Windows Phone apps, of course) for iPhone first, but this time around, Android is getting the preference. There is a reason for this, though: Microsoft says that it is launching this app because Android devices “aren’t consistent in their native support for Exchange ActiveSync.”