Google Apps Sync targets loyal Outlook users

San Francisco (CA) – Google has launched a new service aimed at luring loyal Microsoft fans away from Outlook.

“When big companies like Morgans move all their employees from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps, there are often a few folks who aren’t ready to give up Microsoft Outlook right away. To help them make the transition, we introduced Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook to our Premier and Education edition customers,” Matthew Glotzbach of Google explained in an official blog post. “It lets Outlook work easily with Apps and — like offline Gmail and the Google Apps Connector for BlackBerry Enterprise Server — is another example of how we’re making it dead simple to switch to Google Apps.”

According to Glotzbach, Apps Sync allows users to access Google’s e-mail and calendar functions via the Microsoft Office interface. The new service also facilitates efficient data transfer between Google Apps and Office.

Other key features include:

  • Email, calendar, and contacts synchronization – The e-mail plug-in utilizes an offline Gmail protocol, which is reportedly faster than IMAP or other standards.
  • Free/Busy lookup and Global Address List functionality – Schedule meetings with colleagues, regardless of whether they use Outlook’s calendar or Google Calendar.
  • Two-click data migration tool – copy existing data from Exchange or Outlook into Google Apps.