Microsoft today announced a new service that makes it easier than ever to switch from Google's privacy-invading Gmail service to Outlook.com.

I wrote about many of the tasks you'd need to accomplish to make this switch last year in the series of articles I compiled in Outlook.com Tips. But with this new functionality, built right into Outlook.com, Microsoft is streamlining the migration process much more nicely.

What they're doing is providing a wizard-based interface for importing your Gmail contacts into Outlook.com and then configuring Outlook.com to be able to send email as if from Google. Microsoft is also providing step-by-step instructions for forwarding your Gmail-based email to Outlook.com so you can use Outlook.com as your own email service. That way, Google won't waste any cycles generating BS advertisements based on your email. You gotta keep feeding the beast, I guess.

What's missing, alas, is a similar process for moving your Google Calendar to Outlook.com's excellent calendar. This is for Gmail (email and contacts) only.

To get started, create a new Outlook.com account if required, sign in, and then launch the new web-based wizard.

(If that link doesn't trigger the wizard you see above, check back every day for the next few days as this feature is rolling out to Outlook.com accounts over time.) You can optionally choose how you'd like the email imported.

Then, you'll be prompted to sign in to Gmail to authorize the transfer.

Once that process starts, Microsoft will email you step-by-step instructions on how to set up email auto-forwarding from Gmail to Outlook.com. This enables your Gmail account to forward all your future email to Outlook.com. Microsoft will also email you when the transfer process is complete.