Google Sync Beta Uses Microsoft ActiveSync
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Google announced Monday it has begun beta testing its new Google Sync cloud-based synchronization services meant to link users' iPhone and Windows Mobile calendars and contacts with their Google accounts and automatically keep them in sync.
Also on Monday, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced that Google Sync relies on its own Exchange ActiveSync technology, which it has licensed to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG).
"Earlier today Google announced Google Sync, which is made possible by a patent license they obtained from Microsoft covering Googles implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol on Google servers," read a statement posted on Microsoft's PressPass site.
"For iPhone and WinMo [Windows Mobile], Google Sync does indeed utilize the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol," a Google spokesperson confirmed in an e-mail to InternetNews.com.
The two statements may reflect the continuing tension between the two technology giants. Microsoft's statement said that the license is an outgrowth of its Interoperability Principles, which it announced a year ago. The software giant also said it has already licensed the patent to "Apple, Nokia, Palm, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson."
Google, of course, was touting how useful its services will be in the face Microsoft's developing onslaught against the search titan. Google Sync will support syncing in both directions via push technology, freeing users from having to remember to do it manually.
"For iPhone and Windows Mobile devices, Google Sync allows you to get your Gmail Contacts and Google Calendar events to your phone. Once you set up Sync on your phone, it will automatically begin synchronizing your address book and calendar in the background, over-the-air, so you can attend to other tasks," according a posting on the Google Mobile Blog on Monday.
Google declined to say when Google Sync will exit beta testing. "Following our credo to launch early and iterate, we're introducing Google Sync in beta," the spokesperson said. "We don't have any timing to announce with regard to when Google Sync will come out of beta.
Such a pairing shouldn't come too much as a surprise, as the two giants do have potential common ground, said one analyst. "Frankly, these companies can have one place where they are at each others throats, like online advertising," Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, told InternetNews.com.
"At the same time, Google is pushing into the cloud, and dealing with Microsoft applications is required if you want to deal with 90 percent of the world running those apps," King added.