Microsoft has released facts and figures of the spanking new and revealed that Gmail users would prefer to change over to its services. New features to the web-based email service have also been announced by Microsoft. 

Microsoft says, launched in July, now has 25 million active users. Many of the new users are changing over from Gmail. According to the numbers released on the blog, about one third of users are active Gmail users trying for the first time. 

Active accounts

Active accounts

Intrigued, Microsoft took the help of a research firm to recruit users who used Gmail as their primary email to sign up and try The numbers, says Microsoft, showed that 4 out of 5 of these Gmail users on the panel said they would switch to

Here is what Microsoft found out after talking to the panel: 

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

Even if we take these numbers at face value, since verifying them is not possible, they seem impressive for a service launched only a few months ago. was formerly known as Hotmail. The service was stuck in a rut for a very long time and was in a dire need of a change when Microsoft stepped in and gave the email service a facelift. The new look has urged users of other email services to at least give the new a shot. 

Microsoft went on to announce a host of new features for due to be rolled out within a few weeks. Ranging from colour themes and customisation options to one-click archiving and conversation threads, Microsoft is confident that these features will make the transition from Gmail to easier. 

Very interestingly, Microsoft is launching an Outlook for Android app for Android versions 2.1 and higher. This comes as a major change, since besides Windows Phone platform, Microsoft typically launches apps on the iOS platform before Android. No prizes for guessing that this may be because Gmail is the default mail service for Android. 

Outlook for Android app

Outlook for Android app was launched in July after killing off Hotmail in favour of a swankier service. Outlook was earlier remembered for being a drab old e-mail client bundled with Microsoft Office, but that perception changed as millions signed up for the service within hours of the launch.

There are several consistent touches between Windows 8, the new Microsoft Office and, and every familiar icon and label has been replaced with elements of Microsoft's increasingly ubiquitous Metro interface. has been designed to work well on tablets and touchscreens. One more interesting aspect of the service is that Microsoft is combining many of its past offerings, such as Hotmail and Windows Live Mail, into a single, simple online service. If you already have a Hotmail or Windows Live account, you can log in to with the same email address, keeping your inbox, folders and contacts intact.

To read the complete list of changes to, head over to the Microsoft Office Blog

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