Microsoft is rolling out the ability for Outlook.com users to chat with friends on Gmail directly in the Outlook.com inbox, or via the user’s Microsoft account calendar, contact list and SkyDrive.com.
“We heard that some of you who switched over from Gmail still want to chat with friends” who are using Gmail, Douglas Pearce, group program manager for connected services, said in an official company blog post today.
The capability enables Outlook.com users to, for example, start a quick chat — text only; video chat is not supported — while reading an email from a friend using Gmail. Or, if a user is editing a document at the same time as a colleague who’s editing it via Google, they can chat or edit the document together in real time via SkyDrive.
Microsoft says it’s rolling out the capabilities over the next few days and that the chat capability should appear first in users SkyDrive and then in their Outlook.com inbox and People contacts page.