There's only just over a week left until Google flips the switch to drop Exchange ActiveSync support. Should you be an avid Google user and utilise Gmail (among other services) on your Windows Phone, you'll be left in the dark to an extent.
What the changes mean for consumers is from February onwards we'll no longer be able to
synchronise calendars and contacts through a Gmail account (though email will still function normally) set up new Google accounts to take advantage of calendars and contacts using EAS (only email will function using IMAP). Those who already have accounts configured will be fine, according to Google.
Not all is lost, however. While you can take this as a golden opportunity to change over to Outlook, Microsoft is planning to support CardDAV and CalDAV in Windows Phone, according to sources familiar with company plans. The two protocols are actually Google's preferred route to synchronise content. Microsoft is attempting to work against Google's decisions of late to prevent consumers from being left out.
Sources state that Google privately informed Microsoft plans to drop support for Exchange ActiveSync last summer. Windows Phone 8 does not currently support CalDAV or CardDAV and further development at the time may have delayed the release of the platform and hardware in the holiday season just passed.
Since Google announced plans to drop support for Microsoft's Exchange with free Gmail accounts, Redmond has had the duration to get cracking with a solution over the holiday season (not the best of periods to be scrambling for a problem fix). It's clear the search giant does not wish to play ball, even though the restrictions in place would prevent those who use Google products to effectively use its services.
The Verge has learned that Microsoft has been attempting to convince Google to offer an extension to its cut-off date by as much as six months. This would provide enough time for the company to push out an update that would include support for CalDAV and CardDAV. It's also believed that Google has been largely unresponsive to Microsoft's requests for details as to how the changes will affect users, as well as a possible extension.
Once Google terminates support for Exchange ActiveSync, only IMAP will be available for Gmail, with calendar and contact synchronisation options ceasing to be available for those setting up Google accounts on Windows Phone. Not good. But this isn't the only service Google is attempting to prevent Windows Phone owners from utilising. Both YouTube and Maps have been in the news for being problematic.
Source: The Verge
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.