Google gets rid of Exchange ActiveSync, may affect some Windows Phone users [Update]

Exactly one month ago, to the day, we reported on a major bug in Windows Phone 8 that had to do with Google IMAP syncing. One solution to the problem was to use Exchange ActiveSync, in fact we even posted a step-by-step guide for setting it up.¬†Unfortunately¬†Google has announced they are getting rid of this feature in their “winter cleaning” session. So what does this mean for Windows Phone users?

First of all, if you already have ActiveSync set up you won’t be affected by the change. The only people who will really be victims to this is anyone who wants to start using ActiveSync after January 30th. When you initially set up a Google account you have the option for “Email only” or “Email, contacts, and calendar.” The former uses IMAP, while the latter uses ActiveSync. So yeah, this is a kick in the butt. New users will no longer be able to set up their accounts the second way. Meaning no contacts or calendar syncing.

This move is likely Google’s way of saying “use our stuff or we don’t want you.” The ecosystem war could be about to really heat up. If Google continues to make it difficult to use their services on other platforms you will either have to buy in or switch to something like Outlook. Speaking of Outlook, it has never looked so good. Now is a perfect time to make the switch over to Microsoft’s very nice email service. Clearly Google does not want you.

Update info via WPCentral

  • I don’t think it’s them starting an ecosystem war as much as it is trying to strong-arm Microsoft into using the standard that they and Apple use for this stuff: CalDAV and CardDAV. After all, if they were trying to force people into Android, it would seem pretty counter-intuitive to put so much work into their iOS apps.

    To me this screams of an attempt at standardization. Microsoft doesn’t have enough power in that space to put up much of a fight, so why keep up ActiveSync if WP8 is the only group benefiting from it.

  • Edgar Cervantes

    You know when the ecosystem war will REALLY heat up? When these companies start allowing phones to run full desktop operating systems. Kinda like webtop, where you dock the phone into a laptop and it runs a more desktop-like OS. It has been done with Android and Ubuntu (while it’s not out to the public yet), so these phones will definitely be able to handle it at some point.

    Just imagine, Windows Phone running desktop Windows when docked, and iPhones running iOS. Sadly, Android will have the sorter end of the stick here, with either Chrome OS or some form of Linux. Which would be cool for some, but these are definitely not the operating systems of choice.

  • Cloudscout

    This was done with a few Motorola devices. They were Android phones with a Linux desktop environment when docked. Unfortunately, the lapdocks weren’t very popular and Motorola has announced that they won’t be making any new phones with that capability.

  • Sobr0801

    Well between this and them not making any G+ apps for Windows phone, I have been strongly thinking about canceling my G+ account.

  • CX1

    Google used to make maps for Windows Mobile. It even included voice navigation. They stopped making after they developed their first android device. This is clearly them trying to make their own devices seems better in the eyes of gmail users. They do the same with youtube to WP8 users as well. Their ios app is based only on user base, if it shrinks enough i’m sure they will cut that as well.

  • Eggbertx3

    What happens if I’m using an iPhone with my Gmail account setup as a Microsoft Exchange Account?