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Microsoft Licensing of Exchange Active Sync to Apple

Brad Feld had an interesting post this afternoon about Microsoft’s intentions in licensing of Exchange Active Sync to Apple for their new Snow Leopard OS. I commented over on the post, basically in agreement with Brad (at least its how I interpret Brad’s post) that a potential motivating factor is to entrench Microsoft’s back-end enterprise system understanding that the end-user interface will face additional competition and its in their best interest to hold onto the back-end infrastructure.

Brad’s post raised a tangential question I had, which is the purpose of this post, how does Apple’s licensing of Active Sync affect Google’s attempt at interfacing with Snow Leopard’s native applications? A while back Google licensed Active Sync from Microsoft for use in their Google Sync product which helps connect Outlook and other handheld devices to Google apps. So now that Apple’s native apps can sync with Exchange and Google Apps have Active Sync capabilities when will Google AppsĀ  sync with Snow Leopards native apps? Brad ponders that the Apple license may in an attempt to keep Google Apps out of the enterprise, but if Google is able to utilize their licensed Active Sync protocol do eventually Google and Apple do and end run around Microsoft and control the enterprise back-end and front-end? This of course assumes that enterprises would be willing to switch to Google Apps, which is still unproven. But as a user of Google Apps, I’m left wondering will I shortly have built in sync for all services between Google and OS X’s apps?

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