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Microsoft's solution to Gmail syncing row: use Outlook

email

By Stewart Mitchell

Posted on 18 Dec 2012 at 10:20

Microsoft has told Gmail users who are unhappy with Google's decision to end support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) to "upgrade" to Outlook.com.

Google recently announced that it was ending support for Google Sync, which effectively hobbles the collection of Gmail in mail clients for Windows Phone and Windows 8, with calendar support and push emails affected. Customers who pay for Gmail services will still be able to use EAS.

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

The announcement from Google raised eyebrows because it meant that from the end of next month it will be impossible to set up new devices using Google Sync and Exchange ActiveSync for free Google accounts.

Google will continue to use other protocols for syncing calendars and contacts for Android and iOS, but they are unsupported in Windows Phone, Windows 8 or Microsoft Outlook.

In its announcement, Google said it offered similar syncing "access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols" - but that's not the case for Microsoft platforms, where mobile users would suffer.

Microsoft has shot back by telling Gmail users to set up a free Outlook.com account to get better control over email by forwarding Gmail messages to an Outlook inbox.

"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," the company said in a blog post.

"If you want a better email, especially on your phone or tablet, it's time to join the millions who have already made the choice to upgrade to Outlook.com."

The company outlined how users could set up a default forwarding service from Gmail and link contacts with the new Outlook account.

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User comments

google... pah

I only use my google mail account for the calendar. It being a publicly viewable calendar for clients to see where I'm working. If this ceases to sync with my WP8 then, quite frankly, I couldn't give a fig. It took enough effort to get to sync with WP7 properly, in the first place. With no help from google what so ever. If this is the colours that Google want to pin to their mast, then... Nope not bothered. There's plenty other places I can go.

By nickallison on 18 Dec 2012

except

outlook.com doesn't have imap.

fail.

By gavmeister on 18 Dec 2012

No solution at all

That's like saying "My PC doesn't work." "Get a Mac, then."

By John_Greythorne on 18 Dec 2012

But Outlook.com does not sync well either so MS fail

Unless things are changing Outlook.com only syncs with Outlook using POP rather than IMAP which is ridiculous and I don't think the calendar from Outlook syncs at all with Outlook.com. That's why I have used Google. Until now it is the only solution that works well across Windows and Mac and in the Cloud.

By AdamD6 on 18 Dec 2012

@AdamD6

I've been using the add-in for Hotmail/Live Mail/Outlook.com for Outlook since the late 90s. It has always offered complete synchronisation from hotmail into Outlook.

By big_D on 19 Dec 2012

Outlook.com

Since I've been automatically switched from hotmail to outlook.com I cannot access my email from a browser (Firefox 17 or IE9). I use POP3 to fetch my email from the Inbox, but occasionally logon to check the Junk and to clear the Deleted folder. All of this is no longer possible. Oh you can go back to hotmail in the dropdown, yeah right, that doesn't work either. Outlook.com? ... the first bad experience with a service I've had in a long while.

By Binder on 19 Dec 2012

Outlook.com

Since I've been automatically switched from hotmail to outlook.com I cannot access my email from a browser (Firefox 17 or IE9). I use POP3 to fetch my email from the Inbox, but occasionally logon to check the Junk and to clear the Deleted folder. All of this is no longer possible. Oh you can go back to hotmail in the dropdown, yeah right, that doesn't work either. Outlook.com? ... the first bad experience with a service I've had in a long while.

By Binder on 19 Dec 2012

Outlook.com

Since I've been automatically switched from hotmail to outlook.com I cannot access my email from a browser (Firefox 17 or IE9). I use POP3 to fetch my email from the Inbox, but occasionally logon to check the Junk and to clear the Deleted folder. All of this is no longer possible. Oh you can go back to hotmail in the dropdown, yeah right, that doesn't work either. Outlook.com? ... the first bad experience with a service I've had in a long while.

By Binder on 19 Dec 2012

Outlook.com

Since I've been automatically switched from hotmail to outlook.com I cannot access my email from a browser (Firefox 17 or IE9). I use POP3 to fetch my email from the Inbox, but occasionally logon to check the Junk and to clear the Deleted folder. All of this is no longer possible. Oh you can go back to hotmail in the dropdown, yeah right, that doesn't work either. Outlook.com? ... the first bad experience with a service I've had in a long while.

By Binder on 19 Dec 2012

Outlook.com

Since I've been automatically switched from hotmail to outlook.com I cannot access my email from a browser (Firefox 17 or IE9). I use POP3 to fetch my email from the Inbox, but occasionally logon to check the Junk and to clear the Deleted folder. All of this is no longer possible. Oh you can go back to hotmail in the dropdown, yeah right, that doesn't work either. Outlook.com? ... the first bad experience with a service I've had in a long while.

By Binder on 19 Dec 2012

Multiple Postings

I posted once only, yet there are three entries at this moment marked 'Outlook.com'. Could this be a result of me refreshing the page to see if my comment had been accepted? I'm using Firefox 17. I Will submit this ONCE and then access this page from scratch.

By Binder on 19 Dec 2012

Confused

Can someone help me understand this new Google announement?
I use EAS on Android phones to pick up Exchange Server email. I'm not aware of using Gmail at any point when setting up these type of accounts, so will I be able to continue using EAS for Exchange accounts after the end of Jan 2013?

By AndyChips on 19 Dec 2012

big_D that's right, thanks, but not on Outlook for Mac

...which synchronises with virtually nothing.

By AdamD6 on 19 Dec 2012

Spring Cleaning

While I'm not 100% sure if enough people complain they may do an about turn, but I would like to think so.

I'm not too keen on switching to the outlook way personally.

Though I'm sure too that developers are looking to fix it for most probably for free.

By nicomo on 19 Dec 2012

Outlook.com

Definetly not an issue switching to Outlook. I already did so given my plans to upgrade to a full Win8-Off2k13-Wp8 infrastructure.
Sorry for google, and their fail social network...

By Sauron18 on 20 Dec 2012

No push on iOS either!

iOS users also lose out on this as the three protocols Google is changing to dont support Push. And if you do want to keep using these you have to setup three accounts in the iPhone settings, one for each rather than one account that EAS let you do. It's a big step backwards and seems Google isn't against penalising its users to get one back at Apple or Microsoft.

By Morfik on 20 Dec 2012

What about Android?

Well it's not just Windows Phone or iOS users - even some Android users will be affected by this too!

Even on Android, Gmail is a separate app. The built-in mail app doesn't support Gmail directly at all, so the best way to use a Gmail account with it (and have push email) is... yep, set it up as an Exchange account, in exactly the same way as an iPhone.

I have my HTC phone set up in this way, mainly because the built-in mail app renders emails much more nicely than the Gmail app - you can actually zoom in (or out) to read emails properly, and select text in a sensible, usable way - neither of which are possible in the Gmail app, and Google don't seem to be bothered about fixing that anytime soon.

Google say it's now "possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols" - yes, but that's nothing new, it has been for years... the problem is no one's actually bothered doing it, not even Google themselves! (the Android mail app doesn't support IMAP IDLE, which would enable push email over IMAP).

They seem to be saying that Google Sync (Exchange) will continue to work for existing devices though... so I guess if you're getting a new phone, do it and get it set up before the end of January. I'm not sure how they're going to detect existing/new devices though... unless the Exchange protocol requires each client to send a unique ID, or something.

I really don't know what Google are playing at recently, what with this and discontinung the free Google Apps without even any warning. Their reasons for that make absolutely no sense either.

By EddyM on 20 Dec 2012

Google v Microsoft

Both parties are engaged in a 'triage', to gain an upper hand. Google is hoping that by cutting off MS users (while saying they are making things easier..) they will migrate to the Google platform and abandon MS/Outlook. MS for their part are hoping Google users will adopt Outlook/Exchange as their preferred mailbox. Not very likely given the complexity of MS's 'Corporate' products. "Please consult your IT Administrator" - except I don't have one at home! For years I used Nokia utility phones, and used Nokia's PCSync to connect Outlook and the phone. Beautifully simple and reliable. Earlier this year I caved for a 'Smartphone', and have been in a world of SyncPain ever since. None of the solutions out there - and I have tried most - actually sync either completely or reliably, leaving the user with a hard decision - to go completely Smartphone and abandon Outlook, or keep Outlook and have a crippled phone. Google have no interest in providing a way to sync with Outlook, as they perceive themselves as the 'Bigger Corp', and want MS to fail. MS on the other hand, will gradually lose market share to Android phone users, and so should be providing all the tools for people to keep their MS/Outlook system, and connect to their Android phones. If they don't do this, people will gradually drift to Google as more Android phones are sold (I believe they outsell iPhones and WPhones by a fair margin?), just because it's easier for Non-Technical users than the headache of trying to sync Outlook and Google. MS need to get programming a small simple Sync utility that just works with minimal fiddling, and facilitates full Outlook/Google integration without messing around with Exchange, or any MS 'Corporate' products. I think this is an imperative for MS now Google have pulled the plug on them.

By Wilbert3 on 31 Dec 2012

just hit the buffers

I recently accepted that I needed a smart(er)* phone so got myself a Lumina 925 (nice phone). 'Thought' porting all my contacts & calendar over (from e63) would be simple, but no option of Ovi/Nokia Suite/SIM card or Bluetooth would work. 2 weeks later had no option to export all via Outlook 2010 to my MSN/Hotmail/Outlook live account which I don’t like. We are a 1 woman (& me team) i.e. with no server so have to accept that either Outlook Live or some MS Mail Exchange option. It’s all very messy to me considering we have 4 licences/PCs for Microsoft - Office Professional Plus 2010 which didn’t come cheaply. So why should I pay extra to access our own data. From the feedback from Nokia’s own support team it seems that a lot of (Biz) customers feel the same. MS & Nokia’s own goal, so I can understand why droves willingly go to GOOGLE/Android (or even Apple)! Very disappointed, been using MS for 27 years & Nokia/Symbian for 20!BC

By beecee on 18 Aug 2013

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