For anyone who's ever doubted Google's intention of stealing core Microsoft business, even with the recent machinations, there's now this: Google has tool that makes migrating from MS Exhange to Google Apps as easy as four steps.
Google's blog posting on its Enterpriseblog site really makes no bones on the matter--right from the get go it's clear that Google sees its cloud-based app platform as being a superior product for small-to-medium sized businesses, and that as many users as possible should migrate their work systems across. This is precisely why Google Apps Migration has come into existence: It's a shiny new server-side system, designed for Google Apps Premier and Education Edition customers, that will seamlessly move a company's "email, calendar, and contact data from Microsoft Exchange to Google Apps."
Not only does the mere existence of a tool make this task easier, Google seems to have taken great pains to make the process easy--probably with the smaller office in mind, where sysadmins may not be so experienced and may be reluctant to move beyond systems they know (basically MS products) into adopting strange new technologies that could present new problems (which is how Google may be viewed.) As such it's designed to be easy (with just four steps in the process) and efficient--you can chose what services to migrate--and quick since it can move hundreds of folk's data at once. It's also supposedly "painless" since it won't interrupt your existing setup, and users can still perform all their normal Exchange-based jiggerypokery mid-migration. When all that lovely data has been whizzed up to Google's server farm in the sky, all you'd have to then do to switch your company over to Google tools is to educate your staff, en masse, about the new systems.
Coming on top of the recent moves to highlight Google's Apps Marketplace as an ideal resource for businesses with typical computing needs, this is an unmistakeable sign that Google is gunning for one of MS's core business streams. It's obvious why--it's a multibillion dollar industry, and with all your company data on its systems, Google can data-mine until its heart's content and be ready to deliver advertising and future paid services in a more highly tailored fashion. And with Android phones on the rise, Google's actually trying to challenge MS's core business infrastructure model, core business productivity tools, and Microsoft's share of the business-user smartphone market too.
To follow the news on this head-on battle for business computing, follow me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter--You can also connect to this URL via the QR code on the left.