Been looking to move a friend or relative to Gmail, but they complain the move from Hotmail or their ISP email would be painful? Let 'em know Gmail now offers an easy switching tool.
New sign-ups to Gmail from here on out should see a feature in their settings, under a renamed "Accounts and Import" tab, that can make an account switch with just a few checkboxes and one button push. Contacts, old mail, and new mail for the next 30 days can be grabbed from a fairly big list of supported email provider.
You won't get the kind of fine-grained control you'd have with the manual process of consolidating multiple email addresses with Gmail, such as making your email still seem to arrive from your old address for a while (or forever) and having custom filters for your incoming old mail. But it does look like an easier solution for those making the switch themselves, or helping someone else do it without sitting at their keyboard for a good chunk of minutes.
Existing Gmail users will eventually see the same import tool in their own Settings, but Gmail's team warns that it will be a slower roll-out than normal. Hit the link below for details.
Import your mail and contacts from other accounts [Official Gmail Blog]