Sep 08, 2009

brad feld on apple + exchange

Earlier this year I blogged about Google licensing ActiveSync technology from Microsoft to support GoogleSync; so today's post from Brad Feld re. why Microsoft licensed the same tech to Apple for Snow Leopard caught my eye.

Here's the relevant bits: it's about getting people to upgrade from Exchange 2003 to 2007, and locking them in to the Microsoft platform for a few more years...

As a result, the only thing that motivated us to upgrade to Exchange 2007 is Apple Snow Leopard integration of Exchange ActiveSync.  If this is the reason, it’s a smart strategic move on Microsoft’s part.  As part of our Exchange 2007 upgrade, we are buying a two year “upgrade insurance” package so we’ll get an upgrade to Exchange 2010 for free.  Microsoft defers any discussion around switching to Google Apps for us for at least three more years. 

Brad wonders if there is a deep master plan at work here...but I don't think there is -- I think this is merely "incrementalism" at work. There are opportunities (a) to make incremental dollars licensing ActiveSync technology to otherwise competing technology providers, and (b) to drive incremental upgrade and service contract dollars from customers who otherwise would consider a switch to a Google apps or Zimbra solution. Any optics benefit re. playing nicely with others is just icing.