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In a move to get more people to try its sleek email app Outlook.com, Microsoft has smartly added Google to its list of chat services, joining Facebook and Skype chat.
Microsoft recently announced that Outlook.com now has more than 400 million active accounts following the migration of all Hotmail users over to Outlook.com. The rebranding and redesign that occurred from Hotmail to Outlook.com was necessary because Hotmail had struggled to find new users after Gmail started gobbling them up. Those moves clearly paid off.
Now, to bring even people over to Outlook.com, Microsoft is adding Google Talk functionality.
“As a part of making Outlook.com personal, we believe people choose to use many different services and our role is to help them connect to the people who matter most, wherever they are,” Douglas Pearce, the group program manager for connected services, wrote in a blog post today.
To add Google contacts, open up the Messaging pane in Outlook.com and there will be a dialog prompt to “Add people to chat with Google contacts.” Once you have access, you’re all set. If you ever want to change the connection settings, you can do so at you Live profile page.
Users of Microsoft cloud storage service SkyDrive will also get the benefit of Google chat. This could especially come in handy if you want to work on a document and chat with colleagues at the same time.
“If you’re working together on a document with a Google friend, you can be chatting with them at the same time without leaving SkyDrive,” Pearce wrote. “You can even share a link to the document and edit it together in real time.”
Google functionality in Outlook.com and SkyDrive chat will roll out to all users during the next few days. Take a look at chat in SkyDrive below.
Photos via Microsoft