Mix: Push GMail, Microsoft retail, AT&T MMS, iPhone accounting

Google has launched push GMail support for its Google Sync service, allowing iPhone and iPod touch users, along with users of other mobile devices, to receive emails from their Gmail accounts almost instantly. Previously available for Google Calendars and Contacts, Sync is a two-way push synchronization service that allows users to update information from either their iPhone or iPod touch, using the built-in Calendar and Contacts applications, or from any traditional computer, using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. For more information on Google Sync or to set up the service on a device, visit m.google.com/sync.

As part of its retail store initiative, Microsoft has been attempting to lure Apple retail store employees away from their current positions to work at Microsoft’s upcoming stores, according to a new report. Citing multiple anonymous sources, The Loop reports that Microsoft has been contacting Apple retail store managers, offering “significant raises,” in addition to moving expenses, when necessary. Once hired by Microsoft, the former Apple employees have been contacting top sales people from their prior stores, offering them positions at Microsoft’s stores, often with increased pay. Microsoft has been modeling its retail store experience on Apple’s; it plans to open its first stores this fall.

AT&T has started notifying iPhone customers of its impending launch of Multimedia Messaging Service for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. According to an AppleInsider screenshot, the text message to customers reads, “[p]icture & video messaging (MMS) will be available for iPhone on 9/25. While we prepare your account for MMS capability, the current ‘view my message’ experience will be turned off but your ability to send and receive text messages will not be affected.” Recent reports indicate that the company has already started activating MMS service for some customers; the feature’s official launch is scheduled for September 25.

The United States Financial Accounting Standards Board will vote tomorrow on a proposed accounting rule change that could allow Apple to abandon its practice of subscription accounting for the iPhone. As we reported last week, Apple has lobbied the FASB to change these rules as more devices become dependent on software for their core functionality, such as the iPod touch, which up until now has seen each major update come at a cost due to the different methods used to account for its revenue. The FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force decided in favor of the rule change during a meeting on September 10; if approved by the FASB tomorrow, the new rules could take effect as soon as the start of Apple’s next fiscal year, which begins on September 27.

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