Correction at 7:55 a.m. PST: Googlesystem is not an official Google blog.
Google has inked a deal with online account migration tool provider TrueSwitch in an attempt to streamline the process of moving to Gmail from competing e-mail services, according to Googlesystem, a third-party blog that tracks the search giant's efforts.
Gmail has previously offered tools that let people import contacts and messages from other e-mail services, but the company apparently believed it was making it too hard on new users to import data and wanted to find a way to make account migration more straightforward.
The TrueSwitch migration feature is being added to Gmail's Settings menu. After inputting the e-mail address of the account they would like to import, users will be asked to enter that account's password and decide what they want imported. They will also be able to label the imported messages to distinguish e-mails sent to the old account and those sent to their new Gmail account. It will take 24 hours to 48 hours before the messages appear in Gmail.
Using TrueSwitch could significantly lower the barriers to switching to Gmail. Some Yahoo Mail and Hotmail users are loath to switch to Gmail and lose their data, so they instead decide to stay put.
The TrueSwitch import tool apparently is being rolled out over the next few days, though it's not clear when it will be available to all users.