Microsoft adds Google messaging support to Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com

Microsoft adds Google messaging support to Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com

Summary: Microsoft is integrating support for Google contacts and chat into its Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com and contact hub.

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Microsoft is integrating support for Google chat into its Outlook.com Web mail, company officials announced on May 14.

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The Google Talk integration will be implemented similarly to the way Microsoft already integrates Facebook and Skype messaging from inside Outlook.com, according to a new post on the Microsoft Outlook blog.

Microsoft said users should expect to be able to send an instant message to Google contacts with a single click "over the next couple of days." Microsoft built the support using Google's application programming interfaces (APIs.)

As Neowin noted, "Google's chat integration is widely used among Gmail users and Microsoft knew this would be one of the reasons users might hold-out on switching to Outlook.com."

The Google Talk support is currently limited to text messaging, as The Verge said. (Video/audio messaging support may come at some point if there's considerable users demand.)

In addition to making Google Talk messaging available inside the Outlook.com inbox, Microsoft also is integrating support for Google contacts across calendar, its People contact list and with SkyDrive.com. The SkyDrive integration will allow users to collaborate on documents with Google friends with whom users are chatting, Microsoft's blog post said.

The Google integration will happen across all these services internationally over the next few days. From today's blog post:

"Google chat integration will be available to everyone worldwide in the next few days. While it's rolling out, you might notice a few quirks if you're jumping around between SkyDrive and Outlook.com, but that will be resolved as soon as the rollout is complete. If you're like most people, you'll see it appear first in SkyDrive and then in your inbox and People page. If you don't see it in your inbox quite yet, it's on the way!"

Microsoft announced a couple of weeks ago it was integrating Skype messaging into Outlook.com, starting with "a select set" of UK users. I've heard this integration may not be working yet, as the required Skype plug-in still may not be available. Any readers gotten it to work yet?

Microsoft's Google messaging announcement comes just ahead of the start of Google's I/O developer conference, which kicks off this week. Google is said to be working on Babel, which will integrate Google Talk and its other chat/messaging properties, into a single service. There's no word if Babel will be featured as part of this week's I/O announcements.

Topics: Collaboration, Google, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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5 comments
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  • Please don't forget about Outlook 2013!

    (Just in case any Microsofties are reading ...)

    This is a great step, but still need integration of Google Calendar, Tasks and Contacts into Outlook 2013.

    And before someone says "why bother", (a) I don't want to switch to Exchange Online yet, and (b) I want Task integration for the sake of OneNote TODOs, which is the only reason I use Outlook 2013.
    Bob Tabor
  • Microsoft adds Google messaging support to Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com

    This is a smart way to get people to migrate from gmail over to Outlook.com.
    Loverock-Davidson
  • Freaking Finally!

    I know I have suggested this as feedback several times.
    Zheldon
  • What If...

    What if a contact has both IMs, but is only online with one. Will the new Outlook.com and SkyDrive.com be smart enough to detect where the user is online? Is this based on email addresses associated with the user?
    Zheldon
    • Some Testing Today

      Some of my friends got on, who I am connected to via Messenger, GTalk, and FB. I am happy to say that Outlook automatically detects what chat client they are using. I forgot to see which one it would use by default, but I don't think that really matters.
      Zheldon