Gmail ActiveSync gets 6 month reprieve for Windows Phone

Windows Phone logoMicrosoft announced Google will continue to provide Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support to Windows Phone users for another six months.

Google announced in December it was turning off EAS on free Gmail accounts at the end of this month. Google wants to use a combination of IMAP, CardDAV, and CalDAV instead of EAS. After the cut-off, existing sync relationships would have continued to work, but any new phones (or reset old phones) would have to go without.

That caused a big problem for Windows Phone users, as Microsoft's smartphone platform depends on EAS for both push mail and syncing of calendars and contacts.

Today's announcement provides a two-pronged solution to this problem. First, Google is extending the EAS window for six months. Users will have until July 31 to establish new sync pairings on their Windows Phone devices. Second, Microsoft is adding CalDAV and CardDAV support to Windows Phone, and it will provide an update available before July 31 to turn this on.

Google's decision to remove EAS from free accounts still has implications for other Microsoft products. The Windows 8 Mail app, for example, uses EAS, and it doesn't appear to be covered by the reprieve. Microsoft's guidance for Gmail users is to stick with IMAP—which means disabling calendar and contact sync entirely—or switch to Outlook.com e-mail.

Neither option is a good one, but there's no indication so far that Redmond intends to provide CalDAV or CardDAV support for its desktop platform.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Gmail, Google, Microsoft, Windows Phone 7

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