Feeds

Google beds Microsoft for mobile sync service

Who's the big dog now?

New hybrid storage solutions

Microsoft has - once again - leveraged its muscle in collaboration and email for mobile services to bring one of its biggest rivals to heel.

Online-ads and search powerhouse Google has licensed Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync so users running Microsoft Outlook email, calendar, and contacts can work with its Google Sync service, unveiled as a beta today. ActiveSync will run on servers for Google Sync.

Google Synch lets Apple iPhones and Windows Mobile devices synchronize contacts and calendar events with Google's host of web-based applications. The app adds additional mobile devices to the Google Synch platform on top of its existing tool for Blackberry phones.

The announcement came a year after Microsoft mobile rival Apple said it too had licensed ActiveSync for iPhones. ActiveSync is Microsoft’s protocol to push email from server to client and provide wireless synchronization of calendar and contact information.

Google has also joined Nokia, Palm, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson in licensing ActiveSync.

Redmond was pleased as punch to boast that Google Sync "is made possible" by ActiveSync running on Google's servers.

The development proves that despite Google dwarfing Microsoft online, Microsoft remains the big dog when it comes to getting serious business adoption of your services through mobile devices.

Microsoft has a broad and deep presence in email and collaboration, thanks to years spent building up Office and Exchange. Such are their presence and the fact they are the medium for so much business communication and repositories for mundane but important data that most business customers could simply not use phones from companies Apple or services from Google unless they support Outlook and Exchange.

Interestingly, Microsoft’s pivotal role in Google’s planned service emerged as plans for Microsoft’s own online calendar and contacts service for mobile took another step forward. A Microsoft web site promoting its planned MyPhone site emerged, with the service expected to target just Windows Mobile 6.x devices.

Just like the planned MyPhone, Google’s service is labeled as beta - although with Google, that's only rarely a useful way to gauge a project's completeness. At this point, however, Google warned there are still several kinks to work out.

For example, synching Google Calendar events to the iPhone doesn't currently reflect attendee status. Sometimes, synching more than five calendars also makes all calendars be displayed in bright cyan or yellow on the iPhone, making the calendar app rather hard to use.

"Since Sync is a two-way service, you can make changes on your phone or in your Google Account. Your calendar and contacts are always up-to-date, no matter where you are or what you're doing. Also, since your data is automatically backed up to your Google Account, it's securely stored even if you lose your phone," wrote Google software engineer Bryan Mawhinney in a blog post ®

Additional reporting by Gavin Clarke

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.