You should try it, Kristin.
Gmail is a clusterf*ck compared to Outlook: Gmail has ads to add to the clutter. Outlook doesn't. Gmail has integrated chat. Outlook has integrated Skype. Gmail is a one window pane deal. Outlook has two window panes side-by-side... a column with e-mails, and when each one is highlighted, the second pane shows the e-mail in its entirety, so you don't have to click Inbox to go back. Everything is right there in front of you. Also, if you want to chat with someone on Skype, it opens up into a third window setting on the right, giving you full view of your Inbox, your selected e-mail, and your chat conversation in its entirety. It's seamless. And this is all in the initial redesign from Hotmail. It's still a new product and it's already out-performing Gmail (if you consider everything I just mentioned worthwhile, anyway).
Then there's the actual Outlook program that comes with Office. Gmail doesn't even compare to that. Comparing Gmail to the Office version of Outlook would be like comparing a Honda to a Rolls Royce. Comparing Gmail to Outlook.com would be like comparing that same Honda to a BMW.
However, I realize Gmail is the familiar option, so whatever makes people feel comfortable I suppose. I don't think Microsoft is grasping at straws at all. Quite the contrary, I think they're doing people a favor by giving them an easy path to what is in every way better e-mail. Sometimes people are so complacent and firmly entrenched in a way of life that they don't know something better is out there. Add to that Gmail's scanning your personal stuff... I just don't see why any intelligent, self-respecting person would choose to stay with them. I'm always seeking out the better option, but combine that with being a fan of my own privacy, I think I'll stick with Microsoft.
As for people I know, the only person I know currently who still uses Gmail is my mom, and that's because she just can't be bothered. Everyone else I'm in contact with uses Outlook or some Windows 365 corporate or university e-mail.