While this is great data, can you include some data about the makeup of the sample pool? Specifically, I am wondering how much of a conclusion you can draw about worldwide, or even US broadly, versus what could potentially be very a highly technically adept audience, thus skewing one way or another.
I agree with the gist here - RescueTime probably isn't a very good cross-section sample of the population at large. But is it strictly true that there are far more users of Outlook than Gmail? It certainly isn't true that Gmail is "one of the least popular webmail apps;" I think you mean that Gmail is only the third most popular webmail app, behind Yahoo! and Hotmail, and that each of those have almost three times as many users as Gmail. [http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/metrics/email-statist...] But Gmail's user base is approaching 100 million; that's not exactly a tiny amount. And I honestly have no idea how many users Outlook has; I'm aware that Office holds down about 90% market share in businesses in the US [http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/166123/forrest...] but how many users does that translate to? And how many are there worldwide? I don't think you can just assume that there are more than 100 million; maybe somebody knows something I don't. I'd like to see some data.
My instinct is that webmail, mostly in the hands of Hotmail and Yahoo! mail, has long eclipsed local email programs (like Outlook) in the minds of most users in the world. Gmail was a late comer to this game, and doesn't have nearly the users they do; when you think about 500 or 600 million people the world over using Hotmail and Yahoo! mail, it's hard to believe that local email programs even come close.
Edit: sorry, rereading, now I realize maybe you mean Microsoft has far more users than Gmail. Which is absolutely true - there are around three times as many people using Hotmail as there are using Gmail.
Yes, I was referencing Gmail's numbers compared to Yahoo! and Hotmail. Many people don't realize they have far more users than Gmail does. The majority of people using email today have no idea what a "conversation" is.
While this may have been true initially, over the years this is no longer the case. Especially as we have grown adoption of our business offering, which caters to teams inside a broad range of companies and worker types.
As we went from the early adopter crowd to the broader population, you would expect to see MS Office trending up as a whole.
To be clear, I am not throwing stones. I am, of course, a MSFT employee, so I have a bit of bias there. As a data junkie I like to ensure that the right conclusions can be drawn. A post like this, when contrasted with the $4+ billion that the Office group makes, well it's hard to draw the dire conclusions that one might make from this data in a vacuum.