Concerns that Windows Phone users (among others) would no longer be able to set up Gmail Contact and Calendar syncing on their devices past July 31st 2013 have been allayed with news that Google will extend their support of Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocols until 31st December 2013.
When Google first announced their plans to drop support for ActiveSync on January 31st 2013 it appeared to be an attempt to undermine and kill off the platform, but negotiations between Google and Microsoft brought news that Windows Phone support would be continued until July 31st, which gave MicroSoft time to include CalDav and CarDav syncing options in their mobile platform, and they have done in GDR2 which is appearing on new devices such as Nokia’s Lumia 925 and 1020.
But with July 31st deadline now gone and barely any current Windows Phone 8 devices having received the update, which on Lumia devices is called Amber, someone somewhere must have sweet talked Google reps into extending the support.
One reason Google decided to drop support of Exchange ActiveSync is that every time a Gmail account is set up to run on Microsoft’s proprietary protocol, Google are charged an activation fee (afaik). I do wonder if part of the new extended support date involved Microsoft waiving that fee, or even offering Google some financial incentive.
So good news if you are setting up a Windows Phone 8 device from scratch, even if it is yet to get the latest software update you should still be able to sync your GMail contacts and calendar. As far as I know Google has not shown the same grace to other platforms such as BlackBerry.
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