Google Sync Gains Remote Data Wipe, Admin Functions. Goodbye Exchange?

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Google just beefed up their mobile synchronization functionality for the enterprise and education markets, which removes one long-standing complaint about the service. Up to now, you couldn’t remotely wipe your handset data using Google’s tool set. This feature is a must in today’s business world and it has long been a staple of Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync platform. Google licenses Exchange ActiveSync technology and uses it with their Google Sync service. You can use it for push email and synchronization of calendar events and contacts for your phone.

And now Google is remote data wipe features with Google Sync — lose your phone and you can wipe your personal data to protect it. Google Apps administrators can do even more, however. They can set devices to lock after configurable period of inactivity, require passwords and even ensure that those passwords are strong.

The new Google Sync administration features work with the iPhone, Nokia E series handsets and Windows Mobile devices as well. There’s no mention of Android, but then again, Google Sync is for non-Android devices due to the native synchronization that Google builds into their mobile platform. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to hear that these same functions become supported natively in a future Android update soon. Has Google has just made it a wee bit easier for enterprises to switch from Microsoft Exchange to the far less costly suite of Google Apps?

By the way, if you’re an iPhone and Exchange 2007 user in the enterprise and don’t use Google Sync, The Apple Blog has a how-to that might interest you. They have a step-by-step tutorial showing how to remotely wipe an iPhone using Microsoft’s Outlook Web Access service.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

Report: The Real-Time Enterprise

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