Thursday, February 19, 2009

Google Sync - Team Effort of Google and Microsoft

Google and Microsoft have teamed up to let Google Calendar and Google Contacts users sync their data with an iPhone, without the need for Apple's help, via a utility called Google Sync. Google is using Microsoft's ActiveSync technology to provide--for free--the same over-the-air synchronization that Apple's MobileMe charges $100-a-year for.

No longer is iTunes necessary as an intermediary between the worlds of Google Apps and iPhones.

Besides an iPhone, you can also sync your iPod Touch, Blackberry, and some Nokia and Sony/Ericsson handsets using the Google service. There is also good news for the people who own Windows Mobile devices--they can sync, too.

This deal is probably most attractive to Windows users who have chosen Google Apps over Microsoft Office. These people get the most benefit and that may bring some undecideds among their ranks over to iPhone ownership.

Mac users who find the OS X Address Book and iCal to their liking will likely stay with MobileMe, though the new Google/Microsoft sync offering might cause Apple to rethink its pricing strategy. But Apple hardly ever lowers its prices in response to competition.

More likely is that Apple might actually turn MobileMess, as some people called it in the wake of major roll-out problems last fall, into something that works better and does more than today's limited feature set.

Syncplicity, DropBox, and Microsoft Live Sync also offer Mac and PC synchronization. It's great that synchronization is finally getting the attention it deserves. People today generally use computers and portable devices and they would be able to get the benefit of carrying the same information, especially address and calendar information, notes and files too.