This might just be incredibly coincidental timing, but Apple (s aapl) is announcing that they’ve finally brought the Windows side of their MobileMe personal data syncing service up to snuff, only shortly after it’s come to light that Microsoft (s msft) in working on their own similar service, currently dubbed “My Phone.” Either way, Windows users who are also MobileMe subscribers (like myself, via BootCamp and netbook) should be well pleased with the new feature additions.
The improvements were made to MobileMe’s syncing service for Outlook, which until now was pretty dismal, and not very Push-y at all. In fact, I never actually considered Windows syncing to be a big part of my MobileMe purchase, and rarely used it when running Windows, preferring to just check my email, calendar, etc. via the web interface or on my iPhone.
Apple now promises that changes you make to your Outlook calendar and/or contacts list will automatically update the information stored on MobileMe, and vice versa. To get the new auto-syncing features working, all you have to do is make sure you are running iTunes 8.0.2 and have downloaded and installed the latest update for MobileMe Control Panel, version 1.3. Once that’s done, you just have to set the “Sync With MobileMe” option to “Automatically.”
It’s something the service should have launched with, honestly, if they really wanted to appeal to the Windows market. Personally, I suspect that most, if not all, Windows users of MobileMe are also OS X users. I find it highly unlikely that Window-only people would buy an Apple-branded personal data syncing solution. If you’re out there, speak up and prove me wrong!