Google has rolled out a something called Google Messaging Continuity, which is a fancy way to allow enterprises to back up Microsoft Exchange systems to the cloud. In the big picture, the Google strategy appears to be to hook into Microsoft's key products and relegate them as plumbing.
Google Messaging Continuity has a simple premise. In a nutshell, Google is offering a disaster recovery system for email. In a blog post, Google said that its new offering, which is powered by Postini, replicates email accounts on Microsoft Exchange to the cloud via Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. If there's an outage you back up to Gmail.
As Mary Jo Foley noted:
Why is Google doing this? It’s another way to try to win over Microsoft users to Google Apps, as Google’s execs acknowledge. If and when the Exchange user decides to move to Google Apps, their e-mail, calendar and contacts will already be synced, easing migration.
If we connect the dots here, we see the beginning of a broader strategy. Last month, Google launched a Microsoft Office connector. The gist: Google's Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office allows you to sync docs into Google's cloud and collaborate. It's a back door introduction to Google Docs.
These efforts are nice little ways to introduce Microsoft customers to Google Apps. It remains to be seen if this effort pays off down the line, but it certainly can't hurt Google's cause.