Google Apps Sync Disables Outlook Search. Or Does It?

google-logoWhat initially looked like polite, respectful competition over productivity apps just might turn into a feud. Remember that Google Apps Sync program we told you about earlier this month? That’s the plug-in that essentially helps Microsoft Outlook users replace Exchange with Google’s Gmail. I figured Microsoft wouldn’t be too keen to have Google continue treading on its productivity turf, but what could it do about it? Today, I found out.

Microsoft is taking to the airwaves Internet and warning folks about two issues caused by Google Apps Sync, both of which are due to registry key changes made by Google’s plug-in. First, Microsoft says you’ll lose the search feature within Outlook because it relies upon indexing from Windows Desktop Search. That’s one of the registry key changes that Google’s plug-in makes: It disables the indexing of all Outlook data.

The second registry key modifier affects users of the Microsoft Office for Outlook Connector. If you use this function to sync mail between Windows Live Hotmail and Outlook, you’ll routinely see an error message stating that some functionality is disabled.

I haven’t used Outlook and Exchange for nearly two years now, but I’m wondering how much of an “issue” the first point is at all. I’m guessing (and hoping one of you have tried this out) that you can still search Outlook for contacts, events and mail after you install Google’s plug-in. After all, Google’s core competency is in search, right? My suspicion is that the indexing takes place through Google and not Microsoft, so if you’re in Outlook and using Google Apps Sync, you can still find things. The results would just be returned from Google, not Microsoft. Now if you use Windows Desktop Search to look for those items, I can see the problem, although the resolution would be to use Outlook or perhaps Google’s own Desktop Search. Thoughts?

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