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

Microsoft is integrating support for Google contacts and chat into its Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com and contact hub.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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


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.

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