Google yesterday announced Google Sync for iPhones and Windows Mobile devices, but that’s only possible because of a patent license from Microsoft covering the implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol on Google servers, according to Microsoft.
Apple, Nokia, Palm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and others are among licensees in the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync Licensing Program.
“Google’s licensing of these Microsoft patents relating to the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol is a clear acknowledgment of the innovation taking place at Microsoft,” Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel and vice president, Intellectual Property & Licensing at Microsoft, said in a statement. “This agreement is also a great example of Microsoft’ s openness to generally license our patents under fair and reasonable terms so long as licensees respect Microsoft intellectual property. This open approach has been part of Microsoft’s IP licensing policy since 2003 and has resulted in over 500 licensing agreements of the last five years.”
Google’s support for the iPhone and Windows Mobile comes on top of a tool it released last year for BlackBerry devices to sync Google Calendar and Gmail contacts with pre-installed calendar and contacts applications.
For phones that support SyncML, the tool for iPhone and Windows Mobile devices will allow users to get Gmail contacts onto their phone. The synchronization happens automatically over the air. Google Sync for iPhone and Windows Mobile is being launched in beta.
Late last week, Microsoft let slip that its My Phone feature syncs contact and other information to a password-protected Web site where users can back up and restore data. The application works on phones that run Windows Mobile 6+.