While digging through some older posts, I came across the “Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook” release announcement from 18 months ago. Google recently released version 2.5 of the product just over 1 week ago. An open question was how Microsoft would respond. Windows Live was the response. The functionality matched Google Apps for email, contacts and calendar. Windows Live versions of the Office suite have followed.
Exchange has long been a category killer for Microsoft. Google is going for the jugular. The most obvious objection to Google Apps will be “our guys love Outlook.” You do not hear much about the product, yet it is still being updated while scores of other Google projects bite the dust. Windows Live did go through a major upgrade over the summer. I use the Windows Live email for one of my accounts. I have been a happy gMail user for years, but wanted to see how the service matched up. The summer upgrade helped tremendously. No longer will emails from the same domain end up in my spam folder. The down side was that I lost 6 months of emails in the upgrade. Nothing terribly important, but occasionally, I find myself searching for one of those lost messages.
The Google vs Microsoft enterprise battle is just starting to heat up. Will be interesting to see what this looks like in a year.