In my last post I described migrating my email from Google apps to Outlook.com. My migration was successful but it only lasted around a week before I switched back to Google and paid the $50/year for EAS support. From a strictly email point of view I was pretty happy with Outlook.com. I can't say I have a strong preference for either Gmail or Outlook.com. I do find Outlook.com's sidebar ads more intrusive that Gmail's ads. I never really even noticed the ads in my Gmail and now that I'm on the paid version of Google Apps for Business, I have no ads at all.
At first I thought I preferred the Outlook.com calendar. It looks a bit nicer than Google. The integrated weather forecast is a very cool feature. But after using it for a while I'm not a fan of the animated drop down thing you use to move between mail, calendar, skydrive, etc. It looks nice but takes more clicks. I prefer the simple google toolbar. Switching between day/week/month view in Outlook takes more clicks as well. The Google calendar just seems to be faster to navigate in general.
I'm in grad school and last semester as an experiment I used Googe Drive/Google Docs for all my schoolwork. Note taking, paper writing, etc. It worked out really well, better than using a full office suite. I never had to worry about saving my documents, or having them available from whichever computer or device I had on hand at the moment. Google Docs has an integrated research tool that makes is incredibly easy to insert footnotes as references in your documents. I also found that I prefer to submit my papers as PDF rather than DOCX or RTF, that way there is no issue with formatting or compatibility. Google Docs can export your files as PDF, DOCX, RTF, and a few others. I played around a bit with SykDrive/Office Web Apps and found that it doesn't do any of this. Office Web Apps is a pretty nice suite but it is very basic and can't really compete with Google Apps yet. Also, even after years of exposure, I'm still not a fan of the Office Ribbon. Finally, there is no SkyDrive syncing app for Mac OS X which means I'm completely trusting my stuff to "the cloud" with no simple offline recovery options. So even though I can still use Google Apps without Gmail, I just felt like I preferred the more integrated approach.
The final straw came when I was attempting to view a picture that my wife sent me and I got a message that my Silverlight plugin was out of date. Hey, thanks for reminding me that I have Silverlight installed, I should remove that as soon as I get done moving my mail back to Google.