What Blackberry Is For Outlook/Exchange, Android Is For Google Apps

My friend Wil Stephens posted his thoughts on his first day on a Nexus One just now. If you click thru and read it, you'll note the similarity with the review I posted last week. I am not suggesting Wil was influenced by my review, I'm simply pointing out that we've had very similar experiences and both of us moved over from a Blackberry Curve.

In Wil's review, he says:

Cube, like many companies I guess by now, have Gone Google. My Calendar, Mail, Docs, Contacts are all hosted on Google. This made the setup and transition to the Nexus very easy. I entered my Google credentials and within seconds, my mail, contacts and calendars were all synced up and ready to go. Which, unintentionally or not, makes this a seriously good business phone.

I've spent the past year migrating from Outlook/Exchange to Google's Apps. I've done it gradually, in fits and starts, as our firm is still on Exchange. But I just could not get Outlook or any other Exchange client to scale to the size of mailbox I operate. And so I had to move to a more scaleable solution. That solution was Gmail and now that I've been on Gmail for almost a year, I am so happy.

Most people and companies move to Gmail for different reasons, mainly cost. But regardless of why this shift is happening, it's a very important one to pay attention to. Because it leads to other changes.

Like what phone you want to use. Blackberry is the perfect phone for someone with an Exchange setup. The Blackberry Enterprise Server for Exchange is a great product. If you run that alongside your Exchange server, setting up a Blackberry to be a full blown Exchange client with mail, calendar, and contact sync is a breeze. That's how we've been doing it at the venture firms I've helped manage for over a decade now.

But as Wil points out, if you are on the Google App suite, turning on an Android phone is even simpler. You simply login to the phone with your Google credentials and you are done. And the native Google apps on Android are extremely well done.

So, for good and for bad, I believe Blackberry is attached at the hip to Exchange. As Microsoft loses share to Google in the enterprise, something I believe is bound to happen, Blackberry will lose share to Android as well. Wil and I are cases in point.

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