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We have a situation at a few educational institutes with 5+ domains. We want to move to Google Apps 5 .edu domains (it's free for education right?) but we don't want to migrate the existing email data.

What are my options so that users can access their old emails using same Outlook client and have Gmail in the same as well?

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What is your current email system? I believe Outlook saves a copy of the user's emails locally so they should be retained even after your current email system is disabled.

If you set up IMAP on the Gmail account you can then set up their Outlook client to interface with the Gmail. However, I'm poking around in our admin panel and I do not see a built-in way to do a bulk IMAP setup. I think you will have to do the configuration on an individual user basis.

There are a number of migration tools available for importing emails, contacts, calendars, etc into Gmail so that may still end up being a viable solution for you. Here's a tool for migrating from Exchange and here's a tool for migrating from Lotus Notes (what we did). Not everything migrated perfectly (calendars for example) but it was much better than maintaining the legacy system as well as Google Apps.

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As for migrating, here is Google's answer: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/outlookmigration - As far as desktop apps, is there a reason you need to use a desktop app over the normal web app? If you must, you could try Thunderbird but I hear good things about Zimbra Desktop as well.

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