All new Gmail launched: Becomes an ‘All-in-One Solution” for Businesses

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Google has revealed that its Gmail corporate customers will now be able to edit documents and other files without leaving the email service as it aims to win customers from rivals like Microsoft and Slack by making their platforms more integrated.

The announcement was made at the annual customer and partner meeting of Google’s cloud business, which has been turned into a virtual event over several weeks due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The app is no longer “Gmail” anymore as it is a single app for all communication channels Google offers: Gmail, Chat, Rooms, and Meet.

The key change is simply the placement of these tools in the same app (on your phone) or window (on your desktop). The bounce between window tabs and apps would be less. Users on the web, for example, would be able to get a view with a chat in one section, a doc in another, and a video chat from Google Meet that hovers over both.

For more than a decade, Google has been trying to catch up with Microsoft Corp ‘s Office, which dominates the corporate email and document editing software worldwide.

During the pandemic, both companies added video calling apps and other collaboration resources to draw new business from home-operating companies.

Google believes that by promoting Gmail as a common platform for staff to access text messages, video calls and now documents, it has gained an edge with potential customers. While Microsoft has only restricted links between its applications for email and chat, Outlook and Teams.

It will be available as an “early access preview” to G Suite customers this week and will be rolled out to all G Suite customers later this year.In the future, users who use the free edition of Gmail may have access to the latest integrations, says Javier Soltero, a Google vice president.

Microsoft, which has continued to report steady growth though Microsoft Office, declined to comment.

Google has launched several options that are already available on Microsoft Teams, including the ability of chat members to list an “out of office” notice and “pin” conversations to make it easier to find them later on.

Much like Microsoft is using its supremacy of Office 365 to get its customers to embrace Teams, Google is obviously exploiting the success of Gmail to promote its own collaboration tools. For customers of G Suite who want to live completely within Google’s tool ecosystem, the new integrations will make organizing their shared work easier.