It has been easy to miss because the pieces of this puzzle are spread out across several years of news, but the headline you're reading on this piece has it exactly right: Microsoft is poised to take a serious chunk out of RIM's virtual stranglehold on Enterprise and Corporate mobile email.
The latest news is that Google has gone ahead an licensed Exchange Activesync (EAS) for their Contacts and Calendar services.. While they are not offering it for email (yet?), it does represent a pretty significant moment in the battle for standards in how data gets pushed and synced out to devices. For Google, it means that although they appear to be continuing to support open standards like SyncML and they have their own custom solution for Android, they have given up trying to get those open standards adopted across the industry. Apple made the same decision when they offered Exchange support for the iPhone.
When it comes to mobile devices, EAS is becoming the de facto standard for all smartphones not labeled "BlackBerry." To find out why this matters, read on!