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Google Apps Sync: You have nothing to lose but your Exchange

Google is aiming squarely for Microsoft's stranglehold on business users with the launch of Google Apps Sync, which could replace Exchange

Google is hitting Microsoft where it lives -- or more accurately, where it goes to work -- with the launch of Google Apps Sync, a back-end replacement for Microsoft Exchange aimed at the enterprise sector.

The idea is that businesses will be able to continue using Outlook as a front-end user interface, but all the data involved will be zapped off into the cloud to Google servers rather than Microsoft machines. Users will be able to see their email, calendar and contacts in both Outlook and Google Apps, including Gmail and Google Calendar.

Google hopes that in the long run, users will simply start using Google Apps full-time professionally, consigning Outlook to the recycle bin forever. This is a pretty aggressive move by Google, which includes a calculator on its Apps site that works out how much your business could save by switching. The sample quote suggests that a US business of 100 people could save $30,000 over a year.

Woof! That's a shedful of burritos. With this news following Apple's announcement of Exchange support, it's been a good week for smaller businesses and anyone wishing to overthrow the tyranny of Microsoft at work -- heck, we write everything on Google Docs. Workers of the world unite!