RealTime IT News

Google Enhances Apps Synch for Outlook

Even as Google is devising ways to wean corporate users off of Microsoft Office, the company publicly thanked Microsoft today for help with compatibility issues.

Earlier this month Google launched its Apps Synch for Microsoft Outlook. The plug-in is designed to help companies move off Microsoft's Exchange server, to Google's cloud service, with the option to maintain Outlook's interface and features.

For its initial release, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said it focused on making sure mail, contacts and calendar features worked especially well, as these were the top features beta testers at more than a hundred companies asked for.

Today Google said in a blog post that it fixed a few features that didn't work. Specifically, Google said Apps Synch for Microsoft Outlook now supports Windows Desktop Search to find information in Outlook as an alternative to Outlook native search, which has been available since launch.

The other issue noted by Google is that it now supports access to Windows Live Hotmail via the Microsoft Office Outlook Connector plug-in.

"We worked closely with Microsoft to address two issues that we shared recently, and we appreciate their help," said Chris Vander Mey, a senior product manager for Google Apps, in the blog post.

Google also said it's put together a central resource site for companies using Exchange that want more information on how to switch to Google Apps.

A few other updates of note to Apps Synch include an option that allows users to enable or disable autoarchive during installation. Google also said it improved the two-way synchronization of notes in contacts, and improved installation to make it clearer where data in other Outlook accounts is located.

Current users will be updated automatically to the new features and fixes.