The better option is to set up Outlook.com via Microsoft Exchangeor Corporate if youre on Android. Setup can be a hassle, though, and Microsoft doesnt make it easy to find the proper domain- and server-setup instructions. The good news is that once your account is configured, youll get IMAP-style syncing.
The overall winner
As with classic prizefights such as Mac versus PC and Coke versus Pepsi, we have no clear-cut winner; in the end, your choice may merely depend on which features and capabilities you prize the most.
Both Gmail and Outlook.com let you manage work and personal identities with relative ease, funneling various accounts and assigning them their own folders. However, its important to note that because Outlook.com doesnt support IMAP, you may have a harder time working with corporate accounts.
For those keeping score, its Gmail by a nose. (See the chart below for more side-by-side comparisons.) But give credit to Outlook.com for being a close second, and for offering a more visually pleasing and intuitive email experience. Can you get your work done using Microsofts new service? Absolutely, especially if you deal with a lot of attachments and plan to store massive amounts of email.
On the flipside, Outlook.com could pose a problem for small businesses that need IMAP support and dont have the tech expertise to deal with Exchange ActiveSync. Whats more, while Gmail can take your inbox to new places thanks to add-ons such as Boomerang for Gmail and SmartrInbox for Gmail, Outlook.com has no add-onsat least for the moment. It's no surprise that the desktop Outlook and its corporate, cloud counterpart (Outlook Web Access) offer richer features than the fledgling Outlook.com does.