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She loves me, she loves me not. That’s the vibe you get with this weird Exchange ActiveSync saga/drama going on between Google and Microsoft right now. It was back in mid-December that Google dropped a bomb on the internet (and mostly Microsoft) by announcing that it was going to stop supporting EAS on January 30, 2013 – which is today.

Existing connections wouldn’t be affected, but going forward anyone trying to set up a Gmail account on a Windows Phone would have a less than ideal experience. Now we’ve got a temporary silver lining.

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Starting February 1st 2013, Windows Phone users won't be able to create full Gmail accounts on Windows Phone. Does Microsoft have a plan?

This afternoon Google has announced the discontinuation of their support of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS aka the standard for many who use email) after January 30th 2013. The question you may be wondering is, how does it affect Windows Phone?

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Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 (and ActiveSync) is coming, and that means new features for Windows Mobile. Some of them are for IT types, others directly affect you, the end user. Here's what's in store:

On the Server side:

  • Block/allow/quarantine phones: That's one for the IT side.
  • OTA update of Outlook Mobile: That's right, a new version of the app can be pushed to your phone. Wouldn't hold your breath in hopes of seeing this outside of a corporate environment, but you never know.
  • Sync SMS: It'd been rumored for a while. You can send text messages to networked phones from Outlook or OWA access and respond from either, as well as from your phone.

On the phone side:

  • Threaded messages(!): Instead of cluttering your inbox with each and every message, they're threaded by "conversations." Nothing you're not already used to elsewhere, and a welcome addition to Windows Mobile. There also are options to ignore threads or move them to other folders.
  • Reply state: See which messages you've replied to or forwarded.
  • Voice card/transcription: If someone sends you a voicemail through Exchange, it's transcribed(!!!) and you can play it directly in the e-mail. Very cool.
  • Get free/busy: No, not like that. It's just quick way to see if someone on your network is free or busy.

Again, this all involves Microsoft Exchange 2010, through it'd be great to get some of the Outlook Mobile features for people outside a corporate envrionment. For those of you on the inside, start lobbying your IT department now.

Microsoft Technet via wmpoweruser

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Now wait just a gosh-darn cotton-pickin' minute here. Sure, the Palm Pre will sync up with an Exchange account. That's Smartphone 101. But to the best of our knowledge, Windows Mobile phones — and every other phone that licenses Exchange — can only sync to one account at a time. Don't believe us? A quick trip to The Google brings up:

But Palm, apparently, says different. Our friends at PreCentral.net spotted deep inside some recent leaked documents a line or three where it's explicitly mentioned that the Pre will sync to multiple Exchange accounts. The next question, natch, is: How the heck is this being accomplished? Some IMAP trickery? Some heretofore unknown service? Follow-up question: Will this be available on Windows Mobile. And if not, why?!?!?!?

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