Google targets Microsoft with Outlook sync tool

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Google has its eye firmly on Microsoft's many enterprise users with a new sync tool that lets businesses use Outlook with Gmail.

The free plug-in means the IT department can roll out Google Apps across a company, but employees can still use Microsoft's Outlook to check their email, if they want. Because the email is in the cloud, it removes the need for an Exchange server.

"Many business users prefer Gmail's interface and features to products they've used in the past," wrote Eric Orth, Google Apps software engineer, in a blog post. "But sometimes there are people who just love Outlook. For them, we've developed Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook."

"It enables Outlook users to connect to Google Apps for business email, contacts and calendar. And they can always use Gmail's web interface to access their information when they're not on their work computer."

Aside from syncing email, contacts and calendar, the plug-in includes a migration tool to move current data over to Google's system.

Companies already using Google Apps Premier or Education can click here to try the plug-in. At the moment, it only works on Windows-based systems.

Click here for our review of Google Apps Premier Edition.