Re: Seems that by dropping ActiveSync, Google dropped a bomb on Microsoft
It's not just WinPhone users - theoretically you can set up a BlackBerry BIS account to point at Google's ActiveSync interface. I expect that Microsoft's response will be to recommend using their outlook.com.
What we're seeing is the beginning of a Google drive to reduce interoperability. Want to use your Google stuff in a convenient way? You'll need an Android phone then. It's like they're building a walled garden just like Apple have. I know that Android is "free", meaning that manufacturers can get into the garden that way. And I know that some Chinese manufacturers de-googlise Android to point it at their own services. But the end consumer can't easily take an Android phone, point it at some other cloud and get anything like the same functionality.
Fragmentation in this field is ultimately not good for the consumer. Personally speaking I think that the governmental regulators all round the world are missing some fairly important developments. It would be far better for Joe Public if there was true standards based interoperability to allow true competition.
That happens in the mobile network business, (or at least it does in Europe/UK), so why not in "cloud services"? Instead what we have at the moment is a series of walled garden phone/cloud combinations designed to trap the consumer. At least MS license ActiveSync to other players (like RIM), allowing other phone manufacturers in on MS's cloud.
ActiveSync is a good protocol, it's only drawback being that it's proprietary to MS. It does everything; email, contacts, calendar, etc. It's certainly way superior to the standard alternatives (IMAP, POP, SMTP, and they do only email anyway).
Pointing a BlackBerry BIS account at Hotmail using ActiveSync results in a pretty good set up. From the experiments I've done new message notifications are pretty much instant. I guess that Windows Phones are similarly nippy. Though presumably without BB's deep-down-in-the-radio-layer notification system Windows Phones use more battery power to do so.