The Outlook-ification of Gmail Continues

Posted on February 1, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Google with 21 Comments

When Google killed Inbox three years ago, users were forced to move to the Outlook-like Gmail interface. Now, Gmail is getting even worse with a new update that inexplicably makes it look even more like Microsoft Outlook.

“We’re introducing a new, integrated view for Gmail, making it easy to move between critical applications like Gmail, Chat and Meet in one unified location,” a Google Workspace Updates blog post explains.

The new UI is being rolled out to customers over time. Starting February 8, Workspace customers can opt-in to the new experience via a fly-out notification advertisement that will feel quite natural to those of us on Windows; users will be able to return to the classic Gmail interface. By April 2022, users who didn’t opt-in to the new UI will be pushed to it automatically; they will also be able to return to Gmail classic, however. But by the end of 2022, the new UI will be the default, with no way to revert.

Presumably, this change is coming to non-paying Gmail customers as well, though Google does not that it is not available to Google Workspace Essentials customers. Hm.

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Comments (21)

21 responses to “The Outlook-ification of Gmail Continues”

  1. kdjones74

    I use Outlook enough at work, so I use Gmail + Simplify for my personal email.

  2. ivarh

    Back when inbox was a thing, I had my email parked in a paid g.suite account using my domain. When they axed inbox, I axed Google and moved to fastmail.com. Since then, I moved my email to a helm box at home. After having google kill the two services I used them for, I now have dropped google for anything but their search engine. My android phone sync's photos to my Synology before my mac picks them up and import them to icloud. When I moved my 25k photos to icloud, I discovered how difficult it was to delete them. Google really doesn't want you to delete your photos...

  3. fishnet37222

    I actually like the GMail interface. I tried Inbox when they offered it but went right back to the classic GMail.

  4. saint4eva

    Microsoft Outlook is incredibly beautiful. My organisation is moving over to Office 365 and this will give me opportunity to use Outlook at work - to have the same joy I am having using Outlook.com for my personal email.

    • curtisspendlove

      Agreed. I’ve actually stopped using the Outlook desktop app.


      Office365 is actually not bad at all to use. It actually helps me get some work done.


      These are not sentances I thought I would ever type. ;)

  5. hrlngrv

    | Presumably, this change is coming to non-paying Gmail customers as well, though Google does not that it is not available to Google Workspace Essentials customers. Hm.


    You really use Grammarly? Is it that poor at noticing the lack of verbs outside dependent clauses?

    • byroncon

      As someone who's still annoyed GSuite Legacy is being cancelled, I know that Essentials doesn't include email so it makes sense this isn't rolling out there.

    • Chris_Kez

      For future reference, there is a polite way to offer a correction:

      Hi Paul, a small typo— I think you meant “note” rather than “not”.

      • hrlngrv

        BTW, thanks for trying to play schoolmarm.

      • hrlngrv

        You believe I had any intention of either being polite or offering correction rather than pointing out error?


        Seems clear to me that (1) Paul Thurrott doesn't actually use Grammarly, and/or (2) Grammarly is less valuable than a 6 oz bag of organic fertilizer.

  6. scovious

    I don't want Google scrubbing, analyzing, reading and cataloging all my private correspondence and interests through the scraping of my email, so I don't use Gmail. It's interesting to know there is more bad qualities about Gmail than that.

  7. djross95

    Inbox was truly a breath of fresh air, and I was loving it big-time. Then Google did what Google always does--unceremoniously killed it. This Gmail monstrosity in no way compares. If I want an Outlook-type interface, I'll use Outlook!

  8. ebraiter

    Google copying another company and will claim it's their own design and then probably scrap it within a year.

  9. Donte

    Totally a user preference deal. I hated the gmail interface. I like folders vs tags. I also do not like when you reply it puts the reply at the bottom of the page, which is horrible when replying to a long email thread.


    While this looks closer to the Outlook webmail, the Outlook webmail IMHO is still way better.

    • fishnet37222

      You can consider GMail's labels to be like accessing a message through multiple folders. Sort of like having a file in one folder and making links to that file in other folders.

  10. bluvg

    I know Gmail is extremely popular, but I've always found the interface rather dated-looking for some reason. And that's not a comment about the mentioned Outlook similarities (I don't find Outlook/Hotmail dated-looking).

  11. yoshi

    Eh, I kind of like the fresh coat of paint. But I would much rather have Inbox back.

  12. covarr

    If the redesign is also more performant I can live with it. Gmail is more sluggish than email has any right to be on lower-midrange PCs.


    But I guess that's just how the internet is these days, and I'm sure the redesign will be worse in that regard, not better.

  13. anoldamigauser

    I volunteer with a local non-profit that uses Google Workspace, and hence, I have to use Gmail for that. I know there are those who love it; but, really, what the hell are they thinking ;-?


    It is the without question the worst email program I have used. Some of this may be muscle memory, but nothing about how it works makes sense, from the oddly small compose window, to sorting threads with the newest message at the bottom.


    All the other Workspace apps are fine...a bit different but certainly usable and capable. Workspace is actually a little easier to grasp, for the more normal users of this organization, than Microsoft 365 would be; but, the frustration most of them feel with Gmail (it is not just me), has them looking at Microsoft 365.

  14. brettscoast

    This is maddening especially after Google killed off the terrific Inbox and fostered this new mail interface on its users. We need this outlook Gmail like a hole in the head. Seriously, Google.

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