Google goes to war on Microsoft Outlook

10 Jun 2009

In a brazen new development, Google has introduced software that makes it easier for businesses using Microsoft’s Outlook to switch to the Google cloud.

Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook is a plug-in for Outlook 2003 and 2007 that synchronises email, calendar and contacts with Google Apps.

It provides access to global address list data, and enables users to schedule meetings by looking up when attendees are free or busy.

It also includes a two-click migration utility, which enables users to easily copy data from a previous Outlook data source such as Microsoft Exchange servers.

According to Google, Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) users will notice a significant performance improvement with Google Apps Sync, which includes a synchroniser built on Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI), a messaging architecture and a Component Object Model based API for Microsoft Windows originally used in offline Gmail.

The move marks a fresh new front in the growing battle between Microsoft’s Outlook, which is predominant in businesses throughout the world, and Google’s Apps family, which is being adopted by a growing number of large enterprises including GE, Capgemini and media groups such as the Daily Telegraph.

While large companies are signing up to use Google Apps and Google, Docs many choose not to make a complete shift from Microsoft Outlook, explained Matthew Glotzbach, product management director of Google’s enterprise team.

“To help them make the transition, today we also introduced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook to our Premier and Education edition customers. It lets Outlook work easily with Apps and – like offline Gmail and the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server – is another example of how we’re making it dead simple to switch to Google Apps,” Glotzbach said.

By John Kennedy