While most online users believe Gmail and Google have dominated and will continue to control how the population uses email, Microsoft is making a much more difficult playing field after it launched new updates to its Outlook email service that could have it taking Google on. The move has been met with widespread positive reviews as it seeks to get back into the battle for your electronic messages.
In launching a series of new Advanced Rules, Microsoft believes that those and other new features will make Outlook, which was once among the most popular email services available, back toward the top, even potentially passing Gmail as the most used service.
The new features will give users an easier and more formulaic approach to organizing their inbox in a much more codified manner, similar but extending the opportunities that currently exists on Gmail.
Microsoft says that the number of emails an individual receives on a daily basis can be a lot.
"This can be a lot to handle, so helping you get to the email you care about is one of our top priorities."
To help, Microsoft is introducing Advanced Rules, which give Outlook users "more control over how your emails are sorted, filed or bumped to the top of your inbox. You can create multi-condition and multi-action rules and set your inbox to organize itself automatically. Advanced Rules allow you to combine your existing rules together and customize them to suit you."
The company even gives an example as to how the new updates work.
"If an unread email is older than 3 days and is from one of your contacts, mark it as important and flag it."
Most experts believe the updates and new rules that Outlook is putting forward are a step into changing how current and future users develop the system and curtail it to their specific needs.
One new and innovative function will be the reply-in button that will allow a user to respond to an email without having to open a new box or have a new page upload, streamlining the process and making it easier for a user to see the message they are responding to at the same time.
The company said that while the new Advanced Rules and other changes will be going into action immediately, it may take a number of weeks before every Outlook.com user will be seeing the new changes in their own personal accounts.
Many believe this is Microsoft's warning to Google that they are back on the prowl.