Google revamps its Gmail, with capabilities that can finally rival business favorite Microsoft Outlook. Source: Pixabay.

Google focussing on businesses with Gmail overhaul

GOOGLE is shifting Gmail’s focus, attempting to appeal to businesses instead of consumers.

In a recent blog post, Google announced the rollout of a major overhaul for the mailing app, featuring tighter security and more productivity features.

Speaking to The Verge, Jacob Bank, Lead Product Manager for Gmail, explains the focus of the redesign is “making people safer and more productive.”

According to Reuters, this is Gmail’s first major change since 2013, and is reportedly “an expensive overhaul two years in the making”.

The new design introduces beefed up phishing protections, confidential modes, as well as simpler security warnings to risky emails. The email also comes with Information Rights Management (IRM) controls. IRM allows users to remove the option to forward, copy, download or print messages.

With security features ramped up, Gmail is clearly responding to increasing concerns about security and data privacy. This is a pressing issue for many businesses, especially small businesses and could lure new consumers to adopt G suite.

Through showing its improved capabilities, Google can compete on a fairer playing field, which currently is being dominated by Microsoft Outlook.

In fact, in recent reports, Microsoft Office 365 recorded 135 million business users. By comparison, G suite only reported 4 million paying users.

In contrast, Gmail in total plays host to over 1.4 billion users each month.

That’s a lot of users that are already familiar with conventional Gmail. If Google were to tap and appeal to a market, this is a good place to start, and the revamped Gmail certainly helps.

Besides security, Gmail has also integrated functionalities with other G Suite apps on the email. Users can create and manage tasks, invites or edit documents without switching tabs. Gmail will also allow third-party apps to feature in the integrated panel.

One functionality that Outlook has over Gmail, is its offline capabilities. Gmail finally catches up, allowing users to work offline natively. Users can search, write, respond, delete, or archive up to 90 days of messages. A major differentiating factor, Google certainly seems to have finally caught on to user’s needs.

The rollout would be done in phases, with Gsuite customers gradually seeing functionalities being implemented over the next few weeks.