Analyst opinion varies on the notion that Microsoft, EMC and Google will vie for Cemaphore. Michael Osterman, principal of Osterman Research, said Cempahore should be very attractive to vendors interested in the cloud. "I would be surprised if Cemaphore did not get acquired within the next three to six months. My guesses would be Google, Yahoo and Microsoft in that order."Moreover, he said: "We don't know if the Gmail synch thing will work, and any potential investor would look at the development resources required to develop the Gmail app-and those are open APIs they're using at Google." Ferris Research's Nick Shelness agreed with Cain for his own reasons, saying that Microsoft would not be inclined to buy Cemaphore because it has more insight into Exchange than Cemaphore. He said Google could grab Cemaphore to use Gmail as a replacement for Exchange, but he wonders whether Cempahore fully understands what it takes to make it happen. At the end of the day, it could come down to which company wants the synchronization and disaster recovery technology bad enough. "If Microsoft was upset about Google, it would be important for us to be over there," Pike said. "If Google wanted to step up their game it would be important to be over there."
Gartner's Matt Cain disagreed, noting that the overlap between Cemaphore and the three potential suitors is too great: Google is doing disaster recovery with its Postini unit; Microsoft has its own disaster recovery service in Exchange 2007; and EMC has SAN (storage area network)-based replication and replication mechanisms such as E-mail Extender.