Emails are the main point of communication for any business internally and externally. For something that we use every day, we need to use a service that is easily accessible, efficient and secure. There are many emailing services out there that can all do the absolute basics – sending an email, but there are many functions and extra services that a provider can give that can really make the difference.
When it comes to email service providers, the two most popular you’ll find on any list is Gmail and Outlook. Gmail came onto the scene in 2004 after being an internal email system only for those working at Google. Gmail today is undoubtedly the largest email service with over 1.2 billion users worldwide. Outlook had its initial launch in 1997 with its former name Hotmail. Hotmail was eventually phased out in 2012 to become what we know today as Outlook and what many would argue is the ultimate business email client.
Most London IT Support Companies will be able to tell you that Gmail and Outlook do admittedly offer very similar services but for businesses looking for an email service there are several important differences that need to be considered before making a choice between the two. We’ve explored these differences with four categories starting with their features.
There’s more to these services than just the ability to send an email. In general, Outlook does outperform Gmail within their similar features but Gmail does offer some features that Outlook doesn’t.
Starting with Calendars, both Gmail and Outlook have great scheduling capabilities that are easy to use and quick to sync with email-based scheduling. Both have a visually appealing colour-blocking layout.
With searching capabilities, this is where the two start to differ. Gmail does offer better searching features. Many complain that Outlook does have a frustrating process of searching queries before finally finding what they are looking for.
For contact management, Outlook allows you to easily access contact lists from your inbox unlike Gmail but Gmail’s contact lists offer more management with filters, organization, importing, exporting and merging.
And finally, Gmail has the edge over Outlook with a very large app and plugin selection. Outlook has a limited selection of plugins and apps provided by Microsoft 365 that doesn’t offer as much enhancing and expanding the capabilities of the service.
Business oriented benefits
If you speak to a trusted IT support company like TechQuarters, you will be told that businesses need their email services to do more than just send the occasional email. From both providers, there are some capabilities that are specifically made to benefit businesses. Outlook offers contact list features for importing and adding email addresses, but the service only allows 60-120 emails for a single contact list. Outlook also does have a group contact feature to allow users to send emails to multiple email addresses instead of the contact list. However, this feature’s limitations include being unable to change individual roles.
Gmail has a superior system with Google Groups where users can send emails to large groups, easily add users to the group and have a variety of user permissions for viewing, editing, and contacting the Google Group. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of members.
Lastly, a big limitation is sending limits. Both providers limit how many emails can be sent in a single day to prevent accounts from sending excessive spam. Gmail with a paid workspace account has a limit of 2,000 emails daily whereas Outlook with a Microsoft 365 subscription has a 5,000 daily recipient limit.
Security has to be an important factor for any business with the constant rise in cybercrime. Both Gmail and Outlook have the standard encryption services but Outlook has an advantage with its end-to-end encryption.
For logging in, both offer two-factor authentication and their own versions of spam filtering so that users can decide what shows up in their inboxes.
And finally, we need to look at costs. Of course, Gmail and Outlook have free versions that are perfectly fine for individual users and personal use, both with 15 GB of inbox storage. But if you’re a business you will most likely have to use a paid version with additional storage and functionalities.
Outlook offers many versions of business plans that all offer variations of task management, inbox views, automation features and additional storage. Any Microsoft 365 Consultant will be quick to point out the big benefit that businesses that are already using Microsoft’s products and services with a paid subscription have Outlook already included.
For businesses that aren’t using any Microsoft products then Gmail for business included with Google Workspace is a slightly cheaper option at some levels but not by much.