A shot across the bow? Microsoft’s “3 easy steps” to switch from Gmail to Hotmail

ms-hotmail-logo_thumb News This week, Google made it even more apparent that it’s either get on the Google+ bandwagon or get out of the way, announcing new privacy policies that make it far easier to share on Google+, but causing some strife among Google users.

In light of that, a post on Inside Windows Live today, including a direct link to the new Google privacy policy, offers up a set of three simple steps to bail out of Gmail before the March 1 privacy “upgrade”:

  1. Create a Hotmail account. If you don’t already have one, you need to create a Hotmail account. The best way to do this is to get a new email address either @hotmail.com or @ live.com. Or, if you already have an email address you want to keep using, you can keep using it and sign up here. You don’t have to use our domain.
  2. Import your old messages from Gmail. You’ll probably want to keep your old email and contacts so we’ve made it simple to bring them in. TrueSwitch is an easy tool which will import your email and contacts and forward any new email to Hotmail for 90 days. Go to the TrueSwitch site and follow the steps there. When you sign back in to Hotmail, you’ll notice that it’s beginning to import your emails (this could take a few hours if you have a lot of emails to bring over).
  3. Connect your Gmail account. This step is optional, but if you want to make sure you receive future messages from Gmail, you can have Hotmail automatically get all new emails that are sent to your old Gmail account. These are the steps to connect your accounts:
  • a. In your inbox, click Options and then More options.
  • b. Click Sending/receiving email from other accounts.
  • c. Click Add an email account.
  • d. Provide your Gmail account details.

In the post, Dharmesh Mehta lists some of the top reasons why users have already made the switch, including Facebook integration, photo sharing with SkyDrive integration, graymail management, and Office compatibility, noting that “Gmail doesn’t work well with Office”.

We’re not sure how serious the backlash is for Google’s hard push into social integration, but we’re kind of glad to see Microsoft jump into the fray.  Do you use Gmail?  Have you thought about switching, and why?