Google announced it will not support Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol for new devices after January 30th, 2013. For Windows users who also use Gmail and Google Apps for contacts and calendaring, it's a real problem. For Apple iOS users, it's also a hassle.
Currently, Windows Phone users are offered two choices to set up a Google account. You can pick between email-only or a combination of email, calendar, and contacts. With this option you can use the email only and set up an IMAP connection to Gmail. But it won't support push — it’ll reportedly sync every 15 minutes at best.
The second option is to use Google calendar and contacts and Windows Phone 8 users can set up a Gmail connection using Exchange ActiveSync, with push email, calendars, and contacts.
This solution will cease working from January 30th for new devices, leaving Microsoft a little over a month to provide an acceptable alternative for end users.
· Google is not providing a Gmail app for Windows Phone users, and the company recently revealed it has "no plans to build out Windows apps" beyond a search app available on Windows 8 and Windows Phone.
According to Jason Fogelson, IT Manager at Advisor Products, Google Apps for business accounts will be unaffected. Existing devices that are setup to sync mail, calendar, and contacts will work fine. However, new Windows devices will not be able to use the Exchange ActiveSync protocol with Gmail.
For iOS, Google's email solution is IMAP support or a dedicated Gmail app, CalDAV for calendar, and CardDAV for contacts. "Apple and Google both support CalDAV and CardDAV natively, but Microsoft has chosen not to support either standard in Windows Phone 8--yet," says Fogelson.
The Verge reports that Google’s announcement comes at a time of heightened competitiveness and attacks from Microsoft. In addition to the Gmail issues, Microsoft recently launched an anti-Google "Scroogled" campaign designed to highlight "unfair pay-to-rank shopping practices" in Google Shopping. "Microsoft has also launched "Bing it on" to challenge Google’s search results, says The Verge, "and the company previously attacked Google's privacy changes with newspaper ads and a Gmail man video.