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Why new Gmail is way better than Outlook.com

It all comes down to spam. Oh, and noise. 

See, while Microsoft keeps attacking Google for having algorithms look at your email (Microsoft claims that's done to show you ads) Google keeps improving its algorithms.

All I have to do is look at my wife's Outlook.com account to see what's wrong: there's a LOT more spam in her inbox than on either her or my Gmail account. This is also verified by looking at other people's accounts too. Gmail's spam filtering is far superior, which really matters when you are someone like me who has made their email address public.

My public account gets 300x more spam than my wife's Outlook.com account, but less of it, far less, shows up in my inbox. That's superior. 

But that was before today. Today everything changes with the addition of a new inbox. One that filters out your promotional emails, your social emails, your updates, and emails from forums and newsgroups to separate folders. 

This dramatically cleans out your inbox. My Promotion folder, alone, has more than 7,000 emails in it. 

One thing: you can help this feature get better. Drag emails that match the folder in and the whole system gets better (take false positives out and it also learns from that).

Outlook has no noise filters like these. It isn't even close. This dramatically will make you more productive. 

One caution: for the first few weeks you really need to look inside all of these folders and, even, spend some time training these filters in case you have some false positives (things might get thrown into these folders instead of your inbox that you'd rather have in your inbox). In my experience these things do learn eventually and do get better every month (this feature used to be for early adopters and was part of Gmail's labs. It was previously called "Smart Labels.")

http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/ has more info.

Speaking of which, this is a gateway drug to several other apps that I use, which also show why Gmail has turned into a platform -- something that Outlook.com hasn't yet turned into:

OtherInBox. Does similar noise filters, but is even better and more complete.
SaneBox. Same as OtherInbox. I use both, because they both catch different things that Gmail's new filters don't catch. Sanebox also puts low priority email into its own inbox, which I find useful since I already can't answer all the email that's coming in.
Unroll.me. Removes you from subscriptions. Dramatically reduces the flow of low-value emails to your inboxes.
Mailstrom. Helps me clean out my inbox by showing me email by person, or by other things. 
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95 comments
 
Hotmail was terrible Gmail is great when it comes to spam 
 
How often does your wife use the Outlook.com account? I find the spam filters only work if you regularly use the account. Also, have you never heard of Quick Views in Hotmail or Outlook.com?
 
+Tom Warren she keeps it up all day long. We've written hundreds of manual features and mark all spam as spam and yet it continues. Her Gmail is spam free. 

+Christopher DeMero I read every single spam and I find that simply is becoming less and less true every day. I haven't had a false positive in weeks now, despite it throwing 400 to 1,200 emails a day into the spam folder.
 
+Tom Warren and now that Gmail has these new noise filters it isn't even close. Gmail has a LOT less noise in the inbox now.
 
i'd rather see ads that relate to something i actually need, if i am going to be forced to see ads.  also, google puts them in nice places where they are not obnoxious.
 
Ok, this looks awesome.  I hope this rolls out soon, I love to have my mail organised and this looks like a really good starting point.
 
I wonder why they post the announcement today when the product isn't rolling out for a few weeks.
 
+Aaron Jaeger because it starts rolling out today, from what I hear. So they needed to get ahead of the news cycle.
 
Ohhhh, I totally agree. I switched to gmail years ago for it's spam filtering. Nothing even comes close.
 
You think Outlook is filled with spam,  try opening up Yahoo mail after a month, Ouch!
 
My Outlook account = 0 spam, can't say that for my gmail account. Looks like it depends on user location.
 
Used smart labels but was very disappointed that it never learned from my categorization, i hope this does a better job.
 
+Robert Scoble that's right. But the fact is, both services are great and way better then few years ago. It just up to you which UI you prefer. I'm more comfortable with Outlook, cleaner design, simple & easy to use + Skype integration. All I need. It will be interesting to see the third player in this game :)
 
+Adriaan Putter yeah, mine does learn, but it seems that you need to be categorized as a good moderator by the system first before it'll start learning from you. I try to be very careful with what I put in mine to keep my reputation up. 
 
+Miklavz Grmek yeah, the UI is definitely different. The new changes on Gmail make it more useable (you can drag and drop emails now into different folders, er, labels). I remember really hating the UI when coming from Outlook but now that I'm used to it I find I like it better than Outlook.com. But that's personal taste. The new noise filters make Outlook obsolete for me and FAR less productive. 
 
By the way, after a few months of using these things, my social folder has 1,443 items. My Promotions folder has 7,053 items. My Updates folder has 1,538 items. My Forums folder has 26 items. 

Outlook isn't even close. This filtering makes email usable for me. Period.
 
+James Barraford I can't use Mailbox. I'm not on iOS anymore and Mailbox never supported all my labels properly. Hopefully these work, but I bet they won't, at least at first.
 
+Robert Scoble, I followed your advise from several months ago when you met a GMail team member on a flight. I've used these smart filters (and your folder naming scheme for them) since and have been loving the fact that my inbox is ALL just real people. The filter works very well with very little setup. Its nice to see that this is coming to the masses and with a better focus.
 
I've had similar results. I actually end up looking at things that get filtered, since I did want to look at them eventually. I fell into a habit of picking out the few important things and archiving the rest just to clear it out. Automatic filters changed that.
 
+Robert Scoble I would LOVE to know where you stand on this....:
 Ive said it before.. Ill say it again any and ALL "improvements to +Gmail " are an utter FAIL if they do not integrate photos from Picasa/G+ into it! I should NOT have to RE-upload images I already have uploaded to share content via email.
 
+Jason Joseph agreed, but why are you sending photos via email anyway? Just put them on Google+ and share from there. That will be a lot more efficient on everyone's inbox.
 
I haven't seen spam in my Gmail in years. I remember opening my Hotmail and seeing dozens if not hundreds of spam emails. I don't miss it =P
 
I LOVE smart labels. It gets it right like 99% of the time! Still have to look at every email, but it is almost right! The new look seems great too! 
 
Because I use Gmail for business..I cant ask a creative director.. art director.. magazine editor .. to come "check me out on my social network"
And what irks me the most about this is that.. they have had other services come along that allowed this connection to existing photos.. but Gmail hasnt gotten any love.. nwo this update makes me think,...perhaps they just dont get it.
 
+Robert Scoble that's a broad assumption that everyone uses Google. I know many who want nothing to do with Gmail. So sending photos via email is a valid means still.
 
Hey look, Google graduated the SmartLabels lab. (Really not a huge update if you were already using it.)
 
why cant any of these mail apps figure out how to deliver my social channel communications - SMS, twitter, facebook, linkedin, et al - 
 
James youre missing my point.. if I ALREADY have images uploaded on G+ or Picasa.. I should NOT have to RE_upload them to share them via EMail.. its a FAIL.
 
I don't get spam either. Was hoping to hook my MS Exchange account to Outlook.com but this post kinda makes me think twice.
 
Why not use Dropbox/Drive/Skydrive for sharing pictures with people? 
 
+Keith Newman The new update will do it all perfectly. Just enable smart labels under labs if you want a quick preview. Not a single social media has been delivered to my inbox in months. Nor has a promotional email made it into the inbox.
 
i get more spam in my gmail than any other account I had so far in my life and I had made many request with Gmail in past to protect it .... so cant say gmail spam is good ...
 
+Jason Joseph there's a lot with Google that I'd like to fix. They slowly are getting everything integrated. I bet that eventually this gets fixed, but I agree it's maddening. 
 
+Robert Scoble  What is crazy is that this is an "I/O-keynote-level" upgrade.  So much cool stuff so fast, even 3 hours was not enough.
 
I concur +Robert Scoble I too think they will eventually integrate it... It just pains me that it seems sooooo blatantly obvious..  
I cant get excited about this update.. its like getting a hot date only to find out she is celibate and leaving for the seminary.
 
+Rajeev Yadav you've been marking all that as spam, right? Got any examples of spam that's sneaking through the system? I'm sure the Gmail team would love to debug that.
 
I haven't noticed any of these new folders in my Gmail +Robert Scoble. Is this something I must activate manually?
 
+Randy Hudson yes. For now. It sounds like it'll be turned on automatically over the next few weeks.
 
+Randy Hudson I was given an advance look, but really the feature is similar to SmartLabels in Labs. This feature replaces that.
 
I'm going back to Excite ! hahahahah
:)
 
Have you got Gmelius? give it a go from chrome store
 
I've been waiting a long time for something like this. Thanks +Robert Scoble I will very impatiently wait to get the upgrade.
 
The responsable use of any account eliminates spam, I don't have spam on my hotmail, outlook or gmail, but for any other not serius use I have my yahoo account too...
 
+Robert Scoble I use iphone/ipad and windows. I didn't like the gmail apps on iOS when launched and havent gone back. Would you encourage me to go back, and why?
 
Reading comments is always more interesting than reading the original post! Why is it so?? #truestory  
 
Gmail has always had the worse interface of the 3 big email providers. The problem also is that it is bad at seeing what is spam so a lot of non spam mails go into that folder. I know a company which has decided to user Gmail as their comporate email....a lot of users missing Outlook.
 
+Robert Scoble Totally agree to your points. Don't you think Facebook should do something like this with its News Feed too. Give the control back to the user and not complicate it with Edge Rank and Lists that most people don't understand well. I think Gmail really nailed it well this time. 
 
I can't help but improving email is like building a faster horse, when what we really need is cars
 
I agree with a host of comments above. My gmail is somewhat a very private account, given to only personal contacts, while Outlook.com is for complete professional use (back in the day, many years ago, Outlook was very handy for that) and I continued it that way. So all companies, all recruiters, all professional groups including LinkedIn, have my Outlook address...so it's really a lot more out there than Gmail. But I get 0 spam. So really not sure how you're using it to get so much of it.
 
This and other Gmail browser-only features are the reason why I haven't opened my Mail app on my iMac in literally years. Great job Google!
 
A question for all people who dislike the ads on Gmail. How much would you pay for an ad-free Gmail? Seriously, I really wonder: how high do you value the absence of ads? For me, I'd go with 4.99 - 9.99 per month. Including a fair bit of cloud storage upgrade on my Google account. 
 
Talk to me when they have true push without having to use their Android or incredibly poor iOS application. When they had push, it was THE best platform. Now, it's not. Their IMAP implementation is poor.
 
+Joel Horner I actually quite like the iOS Gmail app. What do you hate about it? Do you use Mailbox or something like it instead?
 
+Martin Spedding I get up to 1,200 spams a day and I read every single one. I just don't see false positives anymore. Interesting that you still are seeing them.
 
I wish GMail would add the ability to sort by name, email address or subject.  Would make it easier to train GMail for use with features like this.
 
+Robert Scoble  Do you have any news if this will hit Google Apps customers as well as consumer? We have not seen it yet and the blog did not say. Any inside scoop?
 
GMail surely needs a radical overhaul. It feels antiquated in comparison with G+

I have the labs' smart labels function enabled and agree it's useful, so this just seems more a UX change rather than anything radical.  

What i would like to see is Gmail feeling "less clicky" and more use of clever AJX etc (or whatever it's called. i'm not a dev)  as when i use Outlook.com (for a secondary account, only cheek weekly) it works so smoothly and just feels more modern, and i have to say yet come across a single spam email in there..  
 
My Outlook.com account gets no spam. My Gmail has lots more (not a lot, but more than outlook). I guess it differs from person to person. Don't generalize.
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True story, no spam at all. And my account is really old and connected with many accounts and websites out there.
 
I have an Outlook email only because I can use my name as the address. You know, Outlook is less popular…
 
Over many years I have managed to keep SPAM at bay with a bit of work here and there. SPAM has rarely been an issue that I could not overcome with any e-mail client but managing SPAM with GMail makes things even easier.

However, the real advantage that GMail holds for me is its, speed, efficiency and ability to organize and categorize e-mails on the fly without wasting time defining a bunch of obscure rule sets.
 
Gmail has been better than Hotmail for ages and now it's still better than Outlook. 
 
Really man you just have to write this:
Why new Gmail is way better than Outlook.com?
 Because Gmail is Google and Outlook.com is Microsoft, that's it!
Sean G
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Yeah, I dont even attempt to Put Google in the same Class as MS anymore.

Google is Our Gen. Apple...
Like Robert said. Apple is the New MS (on the boring level)
MS is Lost... Copycat in bed w FB. Bing, etc.
No innovation. MS has had SO many chances to shine...
They just need to Get a less Geeky 80s nerd outta their system.
& Become the Cool Geeks of today.
(but I sadly still love my MS Win7 laptop)
But they still rule the Business world... For now.
 
+Sean G....really !!  Apple has always been  bad and though Google does have a few good things...for example Android it also has a  lot of really bad things...like the barely adequate gmail and their web based office tools. The big difference is MS provides the tools I need and use everyday.
 
I'm sure that there are technical algorithms which are more intelligent than the filter/ rules function from Outlook.com but as many have sad before i'm not seeing a big difference between the spam filters. I'm using my outlook.com adress daily, inbox 50+-100+ with different topics. But using the "move-to..." folder function makes it really simple to filter incoming mails. You write that gmail user have to "train" these filters for some weeks, so they can get better. Than what's the big difference to the simple rules/filter function from Outlook.com? I could realize the same "promotions", "update", "social" as a folder structure really simple and add new rules if necessary with no big effort.
 
There is a HUGE difference. My filters get better every day automatically.
 
+Robert Scoble Has Google provided any recommended advice for someone using the Gmail Smart Labels lab moving to the new categories?  I turned on the new categories a couple of days ago and was surprised to see it didn't automatically supersede my smart labels.  In fact, the process of moving from the old smart labels to this new inbox has been a particularly poor user experience:

1) The smart labels "lab" is still on (why wouldn't Gmail disable it automatically when switching to the new system?)

2) Emails tagged under the "old" promotional label are still skipping the inbox and consequently skipping the "Promotional" tab as well (as I discovered when an important email I had been expecting over the weekend never arrived)

3)The new Promotional category has a different number of emails in it than the Smart Labels Promotional category).

I could go on.  Now I'm sure the new feature will be superior (and I love the tabs), but I wish Google would have simply handled the transition seamlessly behind the scenes.
 
Prefer priority inbox still myself.
 
I agree that it should have transferred over automatically +Paul Simpson. Bummer. I just copied everything in each folder over and then deleted the old ones.
Sean G
 
One thing I would like to see is Grammer Auto Correct... Like outlook.
Just like Gmail reads 'see attached' and you forget. It tells you... 
Google could learn us. Like SwiftKey but w style of instant search 
 
The new gmail send has some problems however. Start with the obscure access to edit the subject line and force embed of pictures when dragging to rich emails. Two very lame user experience nightmares.
 
Yeah, I also don't like the embedding of pictures... :(
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