Gmail "Move To" Tweak Emulates Folders, Challenges Outlook - InformationWeek

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2/3/2009
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Fredric Paul
Fredric Paul
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Gmail "Move To" Tweak Emulates Folders, Challenges Outlook

Gmail today added a new "Move To" feature that instantly moves a message out of the Inbox. Add that to the offline features added last week, and program is becoming an ever-more credible competitor to traditional email programs for small and midsize companies.

Gmail today added a new "Move To" feature that instantly moves a message out of the Inbox. Add that to the offline features added last week, and program is becoming an ever-more credible competitor to traditional email programs for small and midsize companies.When Gmail first came out, it made a big deal out of using labels instead of folders, and letting everything pile up in the Inbox. That wasn't a problem, because Google's search technology could instantly find whatever you were looking for.

But it turns out that many people actually like folders. That's how I work in Outlook, for example, and it's always annoyed me that Google smushes everything into the Inbox. When I get a lot of mail, I sometimes miss important messages because they don't fit on the first screen.

The new Move To feature attempts to solve that with a single menu that labels a message and automatically moves it to Gmail's archive. It unclogs the Inbox for people who want to work in a more traditional folder orientation.

MoveTo

Coupled with last week's addition of offline availability, Google seems to be mounting an ever more serious challenge to Microsoft Outlook/Exchange and other traditional email programs and providers.

But. But. But.

While the Move To menu is a big improvement because it lets you move messages in a single step, it still can't compare to the ease of drag-and-drop folderizing available on your desktop. Until Google figures out a way to use Ajax to let you easily drag messages where you want them, Outlook and its ilk will remain significantly easier to use.

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