You'll soon be able to access several Google services from your existing Outlook.com accounts on the web. Microsoft is testing this new feature that lets users add Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar to their Outlook accounts. The feature is already live for some lucky Outlook.com users
Note that Microsoft already offers a limited Outlook functionality that allows you to import or sync Gmail emails. However, that integration has several limitations. Gmail emails deleted from inside Outlook do not actually get deleted, but just hidden. The software giant may now be looking to offer a true Google Services integration to Outlook.com users.
"We are always looking for new ways to extend the best email experience to our customers and can confirm that we're experimenting with a small set of Outlook.com users to learn and gather feedback," a Microsoft spokesperson said, confirming the test.
If you're among those select few, you should see a pop-up that says, "Add your Google Mail and Calendar to Outlook and easily manage everything in one place" once you log in your Outlook.com account. Following a quick set up process, you can link your Google account to your Outlook.com account. Your Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Calendar will then automatically sync within Outlook.com.
The option did not show up in our testing, but looking at the snippets, it appears this integration will work very similar to how it does on Outlook apps for iOS and Android. There are separate inboxes and a neatly integrated Google Calendar in the sidebar. The Google Drive integration, meanwhile, allows you to quickly attach documents and files to emails composed within Outlook.com, both Gmail and Outlook emails.
Still in the early testing stage
This integration could be a real time-saver for those who are into both Outlook and G Suite apps. If you use a personal Outlook.com account but prefer Google Docs and Google Drive over Office365 or OneDrive, you might find this integration very useful. However, you'll have to wait for some time before you can take advantage of it.
As Florian points out, this feature is still in its early testing stages. It, for now, only allows the addition of one Gmail account. Also, switching between Outlook and Gmail accounts refreshes the entire page, which further suggests it to be very early on in the test process.
There's no telling as to when this feature will be ready for roll out to all Outlook.com users. We should be hearing more about it in the coming weeks, as Microsoft continues the test.