Well, the world knows, Google and Microsoft are at a war now to give the best app service and increase their market share. I am a big fan of both the worlds : )
A setback for Google losing their market share is as they have stopped Google Apps Free Edition and disabled Exchange Active Sync for Gmail and Google Apps Free Edition. On the other side, with its Office 2013 series and Outlook.com Microsoft is gearing towards clean, simple interface tools for boosting office productivity. Live Domains still free becomes a choice now for Start-ups and Growing Businesses.
To increase office productivity and smartly move over the tasks and meetings, we need to use Mails, Calendar, Document Storage & Notes across devices.
Google Apps is good, but lags behind MS Office Tools for productivity on a PC and Windows Devices which is still most preferred at work for enterprises and businesses.
Situations could be like,
- You cannot migrate all your users from Google Apps to Microsoft Live Domains.
- You may want to give the MS productivity tools to a only selected users while keeping others at Google Apps.
- You adopt BYOD and may want to leave the choice to your users.
Here’s a working technique for people with Google Apps Free or Gmail to effectively use MS Office tools for Mail, Calendar, Documents and Meeting Notes with Office 2013 & Outlook.com using Exchange Active Sync. In this method, your Google Apps or Gmail setup are preserved while you use MS tools as your preferred applications.
Below is the setup you will get at the end of this workaround.
- Mail – at Google Apps/Gmail & Outlook.com (Microsoft makes it easy for importing mails directly from your Google account).
- Contacts – at Google Apps/Gmail & Outlook.com
- Calendar – at Outlook.com (Note: In this workaround your Google Apps/Gmail Calendar will be not synced but your android device gets synced with Outlook.com and Outlook).
- Notes – at OneDrive.
- Documents Storage – at OneDrive. (You have to manually move the Google Drive documents to OneDrive by downloading to your PC and then uploading to OneDrive. Note, there cannot be any sync between the 2 locations).
- Documents Editing – at MS Office Desktop & Word, Excel, PPT online.
Here are the steps to follow. Though the list may seem long, they are easy to do.
Step 1: Setting up your Mails with Outlook.com
- Get a Microsoft Live account using your official email id. Eg: email@example.com
- Login to Outlook.com with your new Microsoft account and add an alias like firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Login to your Official Google Apps Webmail or Gmail and set forwarding all mails to your new Outlook.com alias id, email@example.com.
- Back at Outlook.com login, Go to Options & Import mails from your Google Apps account. You need to authenticate MS Service at Google Apps to do the import. (Keep patience, the import may take few hours to a day depending on your mail count).
- If you are already using a desktop client like Outlook for your emails, Outlook.com has options to import them too using Internet Explorer.
- Optional: Last but not least, Setup your Mail Signatures properly at different devices.
Step 2: Setting up your Desktop Apps
- Install Office 2013 in your PC with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive, etc.
- Configure your new Outlook.com account in Outlook 2013 with Exchange Active Sync. Repeat this process
- Your Outlook Calendar will be automatically synced with your Outlook.com account through EAS.
- Open your OneNote and create OneNote documents and store in OneDrive. You can then access your online notes in different devices.
Step 3: Setting up your Mobile/Tab Devices (Android)
People with Android can sync Outlook.com, OneDrive and OneNote effectively.
- Download and install Outlook.com Android App from Google Play Store. This app will sync Mail, Calendar and Contacts between your Outlook.com account and the Device. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.outlook.Z7
- Still you need a Google calendar App to view and respond to calendar events. Outlook.com Android App will only sync the calendar events and has no feature to show the events.
- You shall now disable Gmail App to avoid repeated mail notifications.
- Download and install OneDrive & OneNote Apps from Google Play Store. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.onenote, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive
That’s it!! Now you are equipped with MS productivity tools over Google Apps, synced to your different devices.
You shall also login to www.Outlook.com to access your Mails, Calendar, Notes, Documents through a browser.
Muthu Kumar Ar
Web, Brand & the Business.