MailShadow: Exchange-ing Microsoft for Google

A few days ago, Cemaphore opened its new MailShadowG technology to several thousand beta testers, enabling users of Microsoft Exchange-based servers to transition to Google Apps.

With many web workers still reliant on Microsoft clients, MailShadow helps to cut the cord by enabling messages, contacts and schedules to be synchronized between Exchange clients such as Outlook and Google’s application servers.

Here’s why MailShadow is important for web workers…

For web workers connecting to remote Exchange servers, MailShadow presents an opportunity to reduce costs by transitioning their personal data to Google’s cheaper server options.

For users using local Exchange folders on standalong machines, MailShadow provides the capability to build some resilience into their personal infrastructure by mobilising their data through multiple devices – mobile or fixed – as well as taking advantage of the resilience of distributed backup across Google’s ‘cloud’ infrastructure.

Existing Google Apps users can find some benefit in technologies such as MailShadow. Though Gmail and Google Apps’ recently launched IMAP functionality enables mail folders to be synchronized offline, contact and calendar synchronization is limited to manual import/export, though products such as Spanning Sync and GCalDaemon can provide these capabilities. MailShadow however appears to provide a comprehensive solution for most of the data types that Exchange supports.

Organizations experimenting with Google Apps For Your Domain can utilize MailShadow to duplicate live sets of personal data over to Google service to determine – at little risk – whether Google’s services are appropriate to their needs.

There are rumors that the company plans to extend MailShadow to other public webmail services – if so, that’ll provide a great addition to the personal communications capability of web workers.