back to article Google wraps Gmail and Co. in Microsoft comfort blanket

As part of its ongoing effort to destroy Microsoft Exchange, Google has unleashed a new tool that lets you access its so-called cloud apps via Outlook - Redmond's very own Exchange client. With Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook, you can tap Google's web-happy Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts services directly from Redmond's …

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Gates Horns

Google vs Exchange.

Oh please let it be so. If Google destroys the abomination that is exchange, They could begin killing a puppy once an hour for one hundred years and still not be evil.

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Much better than SyncML

I am no M$ fanboy, but judging from the speed and compactness (small amount of data transfered) it seems that Redmond got something right in the exchange protocol.

The alternative SyncML - ( made by OMA, whose standard specifications are more akin to statements of intent ) - is just incredibly slow and chatty. That is if you can manage to implement it - I guess big G may have just given up on trying to implement SyncML - even with the full "spec" in front of them, and found it easier to reverse engineer a proprietary Microsoft protocol.

Gmail is an excellent way for me and my miss to keep contacts and calendar in sync on our S60 phones.

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Anonymous Coward

Hotmail has had this for a while

Hotmail has had an Outlook connector for a while. Not sure about Yahoo mail.

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re: Google vs Exchange

Oh yes, please let Google kill Exchange. Upon the demise of Exchange, companies can transfer control of their data from in-house servers which use proprietary, single-vendor software to (Google's) external servers which use proprietary, single-vendor software. As an added bonus, the Terms and Conditions almost surely state that Google can do whatever they want with your data. Boy, that sure does sound like a good idea to me! Where do I sign up?

I hate Exchange as much as the next person, but replacing it with Google's "cloud" technology is not the way to go, especially when you lose control of your data.

If you aren't concerned about Google controlling your data, you should be. For at least the past three months, Google has been merging its business/map data, which has led to Google's search results showing the incorrect address, phone number, and map for many websites' companies. I was alerted to this yesterday by one of my clients. They did a search for their own domain name, and the "Show map of..." which appears as part of their search result shows the map and phone number for an unrelated company in a different state. Posts on Google's forums show this has been happening since at least the beginning of March, and Google doesn't seem to care. Imagine if they do that with your data -- email, contacts, or calendar data -- either by accident or intentionally.

Google is the world's largest ad broker. They will do anything to get money. They have already shown that they are willing to ignore laws (such as copyright laws) and will happily do so if it is in their corporate interest. It is entirely reasonable to assume that ANY data passing through their servers will be sold to the highest bidder. As such, it is safe to assume that all user data that touches their servers will end up open to the public. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but the possibility (and likelihood) is certainly there.

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Anonymous Coward

The nearly have it...

I know everyone knows this already but everyone seems to forget it when talking about businesses using Googlemail.

Outsourced email for businesses is quite common. Many small businesses don't have the servers or expertise in house to run their own mail server (exchange or whatever) most ISPs offer some kind of mail hosting, the only difference is that ISPs charge money for the service and don't ask for access to your data.

The only real mitigating factor in all this is the domain name issue. What would you rather have within your business, a googlemail email address or a @yourcompanyname.com address. Maybe I'm a snob but I would see businesses with googlemail addresses as a bit cheap.

Personally, I think if they can come up with a way to solve this and let people have their own domain names AND use google mail, they will have an unbeatable service, regardless of if they can access your data or not.

Also, why don't they just develop their own mail client application, maybe compatible with exchange also? They must be capable of that!

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You can use your own domain name

@dudeskinn: If your only concern is being able to use your company's domain name, then you worry for nothing: it's exactly what Google Apps is doing. Go get some info: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html

By the way, for non-business/educational use, it's free and you can of course use your own domain name: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/group/index.html

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Anonymous Coward

@ dudeskinn

"Personally, I think if they can come up with a way to solve this and let people have their own domain names AND use google mail, they will have an unbeatable service, regardless of if they can access your data or not."

Erm... they do. It's called Google Apps... that's what the article is talking about... ;-)

Nice touch offering this as a "free" service but only if you're using the Premium account. I'd try it, but you can't have some Premium and some Free users, and it's $50 per year per user, so I'm not going to turn my main account Premium just to get access to Outlook (which I barely use at home anyway).

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POP3

You can access google email using POP3 and send using SMTP and this has been possible for a long time. It means you can view your email using just about ANY software you like, including Outlook.

Most people aren't too bothered about calendars - I didn't even know google had one...

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Heart

@ people more informed than me

What! You can!!!

Holy shit, what a good do!

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to @Chris

Why exactly do you hate exchange? I hear this all the time and yet quite a lot of companies are using it and nobody really explains why and comes up with alternative robust solution.

I've been exchange admin for few years back in the old days and although there were some downs, in general I was pretty satisfied with it. What I never really liked is MS Outlook for it's footprint, bugs in caching and kinda 80's object model, but that's a different story.

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Paris Hilton

Exchange...

... Is awesome.

Famed troubles only happen when you have shitty systems, environments, configs and no maintainance of data. Keep idiots away from the wheel and it is stable as hell.

On reasonable gear, it is great.

Google on the other hand, should be feared and challenged every step of the way.

my email is not@gmail.com

Paris learned the hard way about free email accounts.

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@Jimbo 7

I hate Exchange for a few reasons. High on the list is the ridiculously small total mailbox store size. In Exchange 2000 (which one of my clients is still running because they have no reason to upgrade), the mailbox store is limited to 16GB no matter how many users you have (I think Exchange 2003 upped this to 75GB). This purely artificial limit is enforced because it helps performance, according to Microsoft. Of course, maybe it would help performance if they didn't keep the entire mailbox store in only two files; it would likely be better if it was one file per user.

My client has 30 users, and they've exceeded that 16GB limit multiple times. Hey, this is Exchange (effectively an IMAP server), so the whole point is to keep your mail on the server. This is especially true with the creation of Outlook Web Access so that you can access your mailbox (and thus its contents) from anywhere using a web browser. When the mailbox store reaches the 16GB limit, you have to stop the mailbox store, add a registry entry to temporarily increase the mailbox store size by 1GB, restart the mailbox store, then have people delete messages or move them off Exchange into PST files. Every time the mailbox store is started, that registry entry is removed, so you have to keep adding it every time you start the mailbox store (for example, every time you do a backup if you're not using an online method such as Backup Exec's Exchange agent).

Another reason I hate Exchange is that there's no warning when Exchange is nearing that mailbox store size limit (no popup box on the server, no email to the administrator, etc). Everything is going along nicely, then suddenly users start complaining and you have no idea why.

Another reason high on the list is that Exchange itself uses (in my opinion) far too much processing power and memory. I find it absurd that you have to dedicate a high-powered server to be strictly a mail server when you only have 30 users sending/receiving maybe 1500 messages per day.

Exchange does seem to work well (when it works), and I like how it integrates nicely into Active Directory. But the performance and resource usage is, in my opinion, pathetic. Also, I think it's significantly overpriced.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't know of a better system which incorporates everything Exchange does. That said, I can certainly dislike and criticize a piece of software even if there is nothing better available.

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@Chris C

The Exchange mailbox store was limited because, under the covers, it was MS-Access. Exchange was "Jet Black", AD was "Jet Red" or some colour thingy, both derivatives of the Access "Jet" engine.

They must have fixed Exchange 2007, because I went to a TechEd presentation that talked about really B-I-G mail stores - in the tens to hundreds of terabytes range.

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Exchange still more reliable?

Don't suppose anybody was bothered to watch the Google Wave protocol demo. You get to install your own private server. If you think the cloud is of benefit, you can do that too. Selectively. You can keep your own private version and then involve people from outside in on specific docs/convos/wikis etc.

Hopefully, my grandchildren will never even hear of the term MS Exchange.

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