Bringing Outlook and Gmail Together

Bringing Outlook and Gmail Closer Together
By Miguel Helft
From Bits

For months, Google has sought to make inroads against Microsoft’s dominance in office applications. Now, it’s getting a little help from others.

Cemaphore Systems, a company that specializes in e-mail backup services, is expected to announce onannounced Wednesday a new product that allows people to automatically synchronize their e-mail, calendar and address books between Microsoft’s Outlook and Google’s Gmail. The service, called MailShadow for Google Apps, is being pitched as a “email continuity and disaster recovery solution.” In other words, it is intended to provide users of Outlook and Exchange, Microsoft’s mail server, with a secure backup. As such, it represents an interesting use of the Google computing “cloud” to provide a service for Microsoft users.

But the technology also would allow businesses to rip out their Exchange servers and run Outlook, which millions of users are familiar with, directly from the Google servers.

“If you are an I.T. guy (or gal) and you can change the back end from Exchange to Google, and keep Outlook for your users, that’s a really interesting proposition,” said Matt Cain, an analyst with Gartner. “We’ll have to see if it works.”

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