The news over the weekend that Google’s Gmail service will be ending support for Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol is a blow to Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
The Redmond company’s mobile platform doesn’t support the CalDAV and CardDAV protocols that Google will be rolling out as an alternative, which means that future Windows Phone buyers who use Gmail will be getting their messages more slowly, without the ability to sync calendars or contacts.
Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Phone teams have yet to comment on the move, but the company’s Outlook.com team (formerly Hotmail) says it was “very surprised” by the news.
“It means that many people currently using Gmail for free are facing a situation where they might have to degrade their mobile email experience by downgrading to an older protocol that doesn’t sync your calendar or contacts, doesn’t give you direct push of new email messages and doesn’t have all the benefits of Exchange ActiveSync,” writes Dharmesh Mehta, Senior Director, Product Management for Outlook.com, in a blog post.
The Redmond company’s proposed solution? Switch to Outlook.com, of course. Mehta’s post outlines the steps for switching from Gmail to the Microsoft webmail service.
It’s an interesting spin on the news, but for many people who rely on Gmail, it’s likely to fall flat, and in some cases the change could keep people from buying Windows Phones in the future.
Is this a repercussion for Microsoft’s aggressively anti-Google PR strategy?
Google’s change will take effect on Jan. 30, affecting new devices but not existing Gmail ActiveSync connections, which will continue to work, according to Google. Also unaffected will be users of Google Apps for Business, Government and Education.