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Microsoft "surprised" by Google's decision to drop Exchange ActiveSync from Gmail

18 Dec 2012
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Microsoft has reported it was "surprised" by Google's decision to end Gmail support of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).

Last week, Google announced it was dumping the EAS protocol from the free version of Gmail by the end of next January. The decision has riled Microsoft, which admited it didn't see the change coming.

"We were very surprised to see Gmail announce last week that they'll soon end support for EAS, unless of course you're willing to pay Google for your email," wrote senior director of product management at Microsoft Dharmesh Mehta in a blog post.

"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."

Google plans to drop its Google Sync feature next year. The feature allowed Gmail users to sync Exchange mail, calendar, and contacts through Microsoft's EAS protocol. 

In a recent blog post Google said users could still sync data using new "open protocols" that are replacing EAS. Gmail users in the business, government, and education fields will also still be able to use the feature for a price.

Microsoft said the new protocols don't offer the same mobile usability as its protocol.

"To have a great email experience in 2012, a protocol needs to do more than just send and receive messages on a PC," continued Mehta.

"It needs to work really well on a variety of mobile devices, to sync not only email but also your calendar and contacts, to do this automatically, and in a way that preserves battery life."

Google's decision to dump the Microsoft protocol comes following news that Gmail and Drive apps will not be coming to Windows 8 any time soon. According to Google, the decision was made because not enough users are currently using Windows 8 devices.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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