Microsoft said they are enabling Outlook.com users to chat with their Google contacts just like they do today with Messenger and Facebook contacts. This, they say, would make it easier for GMail users to switch over to Outlook.com.
As you may know, Outlook.com is in fact a suite of consumer web apps in the form of Outlook.com email, Outlook.com calendar (which was recently updated to be more Metro-styled), SkyDrive personal cloud storage, and People, which is the “universal address book”. The reason I say People is a universal address book is that it allows you to connect various services like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and link identities across these services and your actual address book to create a unified contact. That way, you can see everything about a contact all in one place — Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn updates. In addition, it also allows you to seamlessly chat with your contacts via the messaging pane in Outlook.com email, and when collaborating with someone in SkyDrive via Office Web Apps.
This is a great move by Microsoft. Not only can they claim “openness” which Google seems to tout all the time, they are actually reducing the friction of switching over from GMail to Outlook.com. In the new form of being a “Devices and Services” company,