Microsoft and Google in breakthrough mobile sync deal

10 Feb 2009

In a rare agreement between Microsoft and Google, software giant Microsoft has licensed its ActiveSync protocol to the internet search giant to power its Google Sync product released this week.

Until now, Microsoft has licensed its ActiveSync protocol to most mobile device makers and other software players, including Apple, Nokia, Palm, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, with the exception of Google, which last year released the Android operating system for mobile phones.

Google Sync allows users to synchronise their contacts and calendar information on mobile phones with Google servers across a number of devices such as the iPhone and Nokia, BlackBerry and Sony Ericsson devices.

“Google’s licensing of these Microsoft patents relating to the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol is a clear acknowledgment of the innovation taking place at Microsoft,” said Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel and VP, Intellectual Property & Licensing, Microsoft.

“This agreement is also a great example of Microsoft’ s openness to generally license our patents under fair and reasonable terms, so long as licensees respect Microsoft intellectual property.

“This open approach has been part of Microsoft’s intellectual property licensing policy since 2003, and has resulted in over 500 licensing agreements in the past five years,” Gutierrez said.

By John Kennedy