While users of other email services need to access third party services to send huge files over the Internet, Outlook.com offers a better, more seamless experience: Attachments that exceed the service’s 10 MB attachment limit can simply be transmitted via SkyDrive instead. Put simply, Outlook.com users never need to worry about these limits.

Note: Like many other excellent Outlook.com features, this SkyDrive integration debuted previously on Hotmail.

Gmail, for example, lets you send attachments up to 25 MB in size. That seems bigger than Outlook.com’s 10 MB limit until you realize that Gmail actually has a hard stop at 25 MB. With Outlook.com, you can really send attachments up to 300 MB each, as long as you go through SkyDrive.

Consider a fairly typical situation. You’ve zipped up 8 photos taken with a 14 megapixel point and click digital camera. Those photos zipped take up about 35 MB. If you try to send the zip file with Gmail, you’re unceremoniously met by the following FAIL:

gmail-sorry

But do so with Outlook.com, and something positive happens: In addition to the sorry message, you’re given an out: You can send the attachment through SkyDrive instead.


outlook-sorry

Files sent this way are uploaded to SkyDrive and the email message is appended with a text description and link so that the recipient can download the files when they receive the email.

outlook-sd

(Files sent this way are deposited in the root of your Hotmail storage. You can later delete them if you’d like.)

Since the example here uses photos, it’s worth noting that Outlook.com supports another awesome feature that previously debuted on Hotmail and also utilizes SkyDrive integration: Photo slideshow email. So instead of attaching a ZIP file containing photos, just attach the photos and then choose Send files using SkyDrive. When you do, Outlook.com constructs a beautiful photo slideshow for your recipients, with the photos stored on SkyDrive, and not attached to the actual email. (On SkyDrive, the photos are added to a new folder in your cloud storage.)

photos

Try that with Gmail.