Oh my.

Microsoft emailed me today to explain that they have licensed intellectual property to Google:

Earlier today Google announced Google Sync, which is made possible by a patent license they obtained from Microsoft covering Google’s implementation of the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol on Google servers.  Of note, Microsoft recently announced an expansion of its Exchange Active Sync Licensing Program, and licensees currently include partners and competitors Apple, Nokia, Palm, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

In addition, Microsoft has released the following statement, from Horacio Gutierrez, Deputy General Counsel and VP, Intellectual Property & Licensing at Microsoft:

"Google's licensing of these Microsoft patents relating to the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol is a clear acknowledgement of the innovation taking place at Microsoft. This agreement is also a great example of Microsoft's openness to generally license our patents under fair and reasonable terms so long as licensees respect Microsoft intellectual property. This open approach has been part of Microsoft's IP licensing policy since 2003 and has resulted in over 500 licensing agreements of the last five years."

Hm. So. What is Google Sync? According to Google...

Google SyncBeta for your mobile phone

Synchronize the contacts and calendar on your phone with your Google account.

  • Synchronize your Contacts with Google
  • Depending on your phone, get Google Calendar events to your phone
  • Make changes either on your phone or on the Web
Features

Synchronize your contacts. Get your Google contacts quickly and easily to your phone. With Sync, you can have access to your address book at anytime and place that you need it.

Get calendar alerts. Using your phone's native calendar, you can now access your Google calendar, and be alerted for upcoming appointments with sound or vibration.

Always in sync. Your contacts stay synchronized whether you access them from your phone or from your computer. Add or edit contact information right on your device or on your Google account on the web.

Nice!