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back to article Microsoft 'surprised' by Google Gmail 'winter cleaning'

Microsoft has shot back at Google’s termination of Exchange syncing for free Gmail accounts, and urged users to throw out Gmail for Outlook.com. Google last week said it's closing Google Sync, a service that allowed users of Microsoft’s Exchange ActiveSync protocol to access their Gmail, calendars, and contacts via the Microsoft …

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I agree gmail sucks now.

It really is a downgrade. IMAP and gmail work terribly. The web interface new interface is really difficult to navigate. (Everything is pictures not words which is really inefficient for me).

The Android hotmail client (Made by Seven I think is not exactly pretty but it works really well.)

It is annoying Outlook 2013 cannot do Exchange Activesync to the version Google uses.

At the moment my Google accounts are connected via the Windows 8 Metro Mail app and it works really really well.

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Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

Have posted this before but thought you may find it useful.

Like you, I don't like the images in the gmail interface either, there is a solution though. Go to settings and about half way down there is a 'button labels' option, set it to 'text' and everything is much clearer :)

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Boffin

Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

>>> It is annoying Outlook 2013 cannot do Exchange Activesync to the version Google uses.

Could it not? I thought it could - but of course now Google have terminated the service so it's a moot point.

It was always buggy though, I don't know how well it worked with the Outlook client Google Sync plug-in, but using it directly in things like the iPhone mail app, and the likes of Enhanced Email on Android, wasn't really feasible because of a bug where you couldn't properly move messages. Instructions to move or delete (move to trash) resulted in the messages disappearing from the inbox but only because Gmail just stripped the message of all tags, so it would remain forever in "all messages" and nowhere else.

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Stop

Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

"It is annoying Outlook 2013 cannot do Exchange Activesync to the version Google uses."

I'm pretty sure Outlook 2013 DOES use Exchange ActiveSync protocol - it's earlier versions that don't.

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Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

It does, whether it talked properly to the buggy Gmail implementation is another question.

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Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

As someone who has in the past written a server to support ActiveSync, I would not blame Google for any "bugs" in their implementation of the API.

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Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

Outlook 2013 Does support Exchange ActiveSync but not to the ancient version Google uses.

You get an error to do with the protocol version.

It works incredibly well with the Windows 8 Mail app.

(Like 1000 times better than over IMAP).

Outlook 2013 needs a minimum of Exchange 2007. (Whereas Google uses the last Exchange 2003 Service Pack protocol).

I know I have tested it and then researched it from the docs on Technet.

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Meh

Funnily enough

I signed up for an outlook.com account when Google made their announcement. Doubt I'll actually use it though, I still prefer gmail. I guess I'll have to see how it goes with ActiveSync on it's way out.

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Devil

Winter cleaning?

It's summer in the southern hemisphere.

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Re: Winter cleaning?

Google and Microsoft are based in the Northern hemisphere. I think that press statements along the line of "its now time to do some Winter cleaning- that's Summer cleaning for our antipodean users..." would be both cumbersome and patronising, and doesn't take account of users in the tropics, where seasons as we know them don't apply.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Winter cleaning?

>It's summer in the southern hemisphere.

Clearly you didn't take MCSE Geography at school, even my six-year old knows that in summer it's actually cold in the southern hemisphere.

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Re: Winter cleaning?

Actually, it is spring.

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IT Angle

Re: Winter?

Whatever GCSE season we're in, in Blighty it's definitely the Rainy Season. Which stretches typically from Mid-May to Early-March.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Winter?

>Whatever GCSE season we're in

MCSE :) otherwise it's not funny.

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Just received an email from Sky telling me they were moving my email to Yahoo mail. Glad I don't actually use the Sky email address, but wonder if this may be the reason.

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K
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Pirate

Nope... heres a hint CHA CHA CHING!

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i have to use outlook.com

....for my work email. L Since I installed it on my android tablet my battery life has gone down by at least a third and my data usage up my hundreds of megs per month. I hardly even get that much email via that route.

So why anybody would want to move from gmail to outlook is anybody's guess.

Still, each to their own....

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Devil

If it's anything like the ISP e-mail in collaboration with Yahoo that I've seen here in New Zealand, you're stuffed. No IMAP support.

I enjoy watching Yahoo's decline.

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FAIL

Re: i have to use outlook.com

I don't believe you "installed" outlook.com on your Android tablet because outlook.com is a fucking website. You might have visited the website but that's a pretty inefficient way to use mail from a tablet.

If your hotmail client (the sensible way to use outlook.com email on an android tablet - I do on mine, for example) is bloated and performs badly, use a different one.

Honestly, the ignorance of the FUD on the Register's comment pages is depressing.

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Re: i have to use outlook.com

I think he means he's using EAS on a mobile client, and the push is killing battery, which sounds more plausible but maybe it's app specific - definitely need more info.

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Stop

Re: i have to use outlook.com

"I think he means he's using EAS on a mobile client, and the push is killing battery, which sounds more plausible but maybe it's app specific - definitely need more info."

No, he means he's using Outlook.com on his Android tablet. Outlook.com is an app. And a really poor repaint of the Hotmail app that somehow manages to add battery-depleting features to it.

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Re: i have to use outlook.com

Then I apologize. The Hotmail app works just fine for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i have to use outlook.com

"So why anybody would want to move from gmail to outlook is anybody's guess.

Still, each to their own...."

Gmail is crap, thats why. Outlook is so much better!

Still, once someone has chosen their client of choice, its hard to shift them, even when the failures are obvious.

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Facepalm

Re: i have to use outlook.com

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.outlook.Z7&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImNvbS5vdXRsb29rLlo3Il0.

Now, please, sit down.

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Re: i have to use outlook.com

There is an outlook.com app for Android which is basically the same as the hotmail app with different branding.

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Re: i have to use outlook.com

Christmas shopping not going well?

C'mon. Be nice.

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Facepalm

Re: i have to use outlook.com

It is so obvious, gmail is a client it's an email service

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Re: i have to use outlook.com

Oops!

Bet you feel silly now :D

Have another whisky, it's Xmas!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: i have to use outlook.com

You installed outlook.com on your Android tablet? No matter the battery life sucks- tablets aren't great web servers..

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Re: i have to use outlook.com

Wow, that's a really shit tablet. You should take it back.

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Sky moving to Yahoo? Ouch.

If you ever think Gmail is poor, go and use Yahoo mail for a time and see how bad that is (BT mail users will already knowthis). If you receive mail within two days of it being sent sometimes, then you're doing well (vis: Yahoo's cack-handed anti-spam "deprioritisation" method)

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Anonymous Coward

Outlook.com

Is actually not bad. I signed up for it mainly to get a nice email address, just in case, but it might turn out to be useful. I'm probably too entrenched in Google's systems now, but turning off Exchange will be a real pain, so I'll keep an eye out for alternatives if needs be.

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WTF?

Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

Microsoft has responded by saying it’s “very surprised” by Google’s decision and claimed users of free Gmail services “are facing a situation where they might have to upgrade their mobile email experience by using open and non-proprietary open protocols.”

Really, nobody wants to use Microsoft's proprietary crap, when there is perfectly fine open standards that allow inter operation and stop you ending up being locked into a certain vendor.

Anyone that's locked into Microsoft's Exchange stuff really only has themselves to blame for that. It's certainly NOT Google's fault you have a reliance on Microsoft's own proprietary standards....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

Wow, you're so anti-MS and pro-Google that you think google charging customers for a service that they've been giving away for free is a good thing?

Personally I want to use MS' "proprietary crap", activesync is actually a really very good product, with good device support. Exchange is an excellent product, the only other thing that comes close is Domino, certainly not gmail which my experience of is slow and unpredictable (I use it at work, or at least did until we chucked it out).

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Angel

Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

No, MS has taken advantage of an opportunity for some PR, and their key points are on target.

>>> Really, nobody wants to use Microsoft's proprietary crap, when there is perfectly fine open standards

Well I do, because the open standard of IMAP is not perfectly fine, in fact it's outdated crap that was fuct from the outset and has never worked well - particularly with Gmail, which is even more awkward with its totally non-standard IMAP implementation - whereas Exchange ActiveSync is actually brilliant.

For my domains I intend to switch away from Google Apps to Outlook.com, in every sense it seems to now be the superior offering.

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Stop

Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

House rules, Eadon.

Unless Google are paying you to ignore those.

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Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

Eadon,

Please stop accusing everyone of being a shill, or just fuck off. I'm getting very bored of that shit. Someone holds a different opinion to you. Please just deal with it.

Also I thought the AC's points were valid. Active Sync is better than IMAP. Or at least in my (admittedly) limited experience of using Android, iOS and Win Pho 7 mail/calendar/contacts clients.

I can perfectly well understand Google dropping it. If it costs them a license fee, and if Android is using Google's own proprietary software, then they can both save cash paid to MS and make Android look better than the other mobile OS's.

But stat's still no reason for even Google fans to defend the decision. Google are making things worse for their customers, at short notice for reasons that look to be more corporate bunfight than cost-saving. GMail is not a very good IMAP client, because Google haven't implemented that open standard very well (not that IMAP ever seems to get consistently implemented by anyone...). Given that, have Google bothered to do CalDAV and CardDAV properly either? Or is this just more proprietary software?

Also, as Google's Android mail client is a bit rubbish, and their calendar and contacts ones are worse, can other Android programs use the Google proprietary crap, or will the best Android software also have to use their non-standard implementation of IMAP? Leaving even Android users wanting to migrate away from GMail?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

Maybe they don't even pay him, they just let him have a free email account, until such a time as they decide to charge him for it out of the blue...

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Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

>>> if Android is using Google's own proprietary software [etc]

It doesn't use anything proprietary, the Gmail app uses IMAP. Apparently they do add some pixie dust to help it along, I'm not sure of the details.

But I am an Android user, with the Enhanced Email app (which I've been using after I decided it was the best option even for my IMAP accounts) and will move to Outlook.com happily as it (EE) also supports EAS.

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Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

It doesn't use anything proprietary, the Gmail app uses IMAP. Apparently they do add some pixie dust to help it along, I'm not sure of the details.

badmonkey,

I've no problem with people saying open standards are better. There's a valid argument against that, which is that proprietary ones can change faster with less need to fight stuff through committees. But obviously not being locked to one vendor can be a huge advantage.

However, Google are saying there are open standards to do this, so they're not disadvantaging their customers. Except even they can't use those same open standards without having to resort to hacks and workarounds. Which they're keeping to themselves. i.e. there's no functional difference from something proprietary. You've got the same vendor lock-in, and lack of interoperability.

To add to the fun, Google didn't implement IMAP properly in GMail either. Which reminds me, I've got to fix my Mum's email due to GMail Thunderbird IMAP problems. Which I believe are Google's fault, but then I've also read people being rude about Mozilla's implementation of IMAP. Does anyone do it right? Why is email so hard, when it's one of the most important protocols on the internet? Why are there so few decent email clients? Sorry, I'll shut up before I descend into off-topic ranting.

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Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

I agree with you.

I also agree that Thunderbird is an overrated POS.

It's just that webmail became popular and corporates all used Exchange + Outlook. It's only really mobile clients that are now driving some progress in this area.

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Unhappy

Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

Anyone that's locked into Microsoft's Exchange stuff really only has themselves to blame for that. It's certainly NOT Google's fault you have a reliance on Microsoft's own proprietary standards....

By anyone, I suspect you are including the millions of people who have to use MS Office at work and have no choice in the matter. Some of them had managed to get it to synchronise things with the outside world. That was a small victory against the suit wearers who had "standardised" on MS non-standards years before against the advice of IT departments worldwide.

This minor success has now been taken away from them and they seem set to be trapped with multiple unsynchronised calendars so that MS and Google can continue their battles.

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Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

"Also, as Google's Android mail client is a bit rubbish, and their calendar and contacts ones are worse, can other Android programs use the Google proprietary crap, or will the best Android software also have to use their non-standard implementation of IMAP? Leaving even Android users wanting to migrate away from GMail?"

Works fine with most IMAP clients I've used so far. Pine/Alpine, Thunderbird, Evolution, fetchmail and even Net::IMAP::simple in PERL.

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Pint

Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

If you work some place that uses MS Exchange as the e-mail system, you don't have a choice in the e-mail system you're connecting to, so MS lock in at the work place isn't your choice. Google realizes that Windows Phone is likely to become popular in Microsoft shops, so they are seeing a new revenue stream by charging for the previously free connectivity to Gmail. If however, Outlook.com will in fact connect to Exchange servers, then there is no need to pay Google for Gmail to connect to it.

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Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

So we got it, gmail is slow for you via MS' ActiveSync. Tha was the point. So use IMAP4 or POP3. Or let yourself be locked in the MS world.

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Megaphone

Microsoft 10 years ago and now

the open standard of IMAP is not perfectly fine, in fact it's outdated crap

I see you reiterating the Microsoft's rants here. Okay, not gonna try refuting your statement. Here's some history

1) 90-s early 00s: MS say : "Command line is an outdated crap" (judging from their own cmd.exe maybe )

2005: "We have come up with the coolest cli stuff ever (reinvented the wheel and made it square), Power Shell." The say as recently: "Yeah, cli , PS (it's not piece of sh@#t really) is the way to handle the modern Windows servers"

2) 10-20 years ago MS said "Text interfaces are outdated and crap". MS a couple years ago announces the so called Core Server (soon by default and for less money) to make their product less vulnerable. (Who knows, how much it is a core, when even MS suggest setting the system time through a GUI widget)

3) MS earlier: "uid, gid & privileges are outdated and crap..." (Came up with ACL, which are overcomplicated and crap for security purposes) As a consequence most users ran their Windows XP as root, some apps wanted admin privileges for the users' tasks, every .doc file was a Word document, every .exe file is executable by default. Too many viruses. MS came up with UAC..

.......

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FAIL

Re: Microsoft 10 years ago and now

Let's correct your stupidity.

1) Yes, "command line" in the sense of "DOS" or "command prompt" options in later windows releases (not the same thing), is outdated, and is crap. We'll get to why shortly...

2) That's right, they came up with Powershell. A more modern way of doing CLI based interaction - which supports many many more features than the based-on-DOS legacy of Command Prompt. Personally the ability to nest a whole set of tasks with ease and then run them over and over with ease or tweak them for the next task makes a lot of sense if you have to do the same old tasks over and over.

It's [Powershell] clearly a piece of expletive if you're clueless or lack any basic IT skillsets and can only cope with the wizards doing it all for you, as if often the case with "IT" people who aren't really properly skilled administrators (sadly the vast majority in small business IT are of this ilk), often becoming "admin" because you knew a bit more than the last person and did know something basic once and then oversold your capability. In that category generally also fall all the chimps who have no idea why a £20 switch is not the same as one costing many hundreds in suitable scenarios. However, if you adminster large systems, Powershell is a very good thing, and light years away from the command prompt or nothing options of the past. Having the same basic scripting environment to tweak windows, exchange, hyper-v, dpm, and so on is absolutely a good thing [examples picked because I work with them daily]

Your assessment that all Powershell has done is "made the the wheel square" shows how little you understand it.

3) Your next rant is also pretty broken. ACL's are in no way "broken" - and again if you know about the extended options and/or have adequate clue, you can configure a perfectly secured series of ACLs that can take advantage of the trusts, groups, policies and such making it powerful. Yes complicated potentially, but sometimes a complex scenario may be a legitimate requirement for all kinds of reasons. But it's not complex if you know what you're doing and document properly. If you just set "everyone" on everything because it's "too hard/you hate it refusing access/etc/etc/etc then I guess "security" is broken. Users ran "XP" as root because of the legacy of versions of Windows before it fundamentally where there was limited security consideration (no different to many other older non-network systems), and because developers are often lazy, or the business they work for lazy or cannot see why they should spend money writing apps to properly utilise security rules, so as a result don't work if the OS refuses to let them just write files any old place any time without question. I STILL see apps today that don't work in non-admin contexts. You're blaming the people who make the operating system, for a problem which was really down to developers. It has sadly taken a long time to educate developers and so on to do it properly. A well written application, that follows the guidelines doesn't have an issue, runs without admin rights (unless it needs such rights when it requests it).

UAC is really there as a Microsoft effort to try and help improve security because a reasonably high number of apps STILL "need" admin rights because they're STILL poorly written (and/or not updated and/or the person using the app won't get/buy/obtain an upgrade etc etc), and thus UAC attempts to boost security. I admit is is not a pretty solution and has it's own flaws, but the alternatives were worse.

Microsoft have always been "too generous" in my view in allowing old stuff to run and providing layers of compatibility that the clueless then deem "bloat" and so on - and which has sadly contributed to security issues themselves, but they've made a lot of progress. It's really about time people stopped assessing Windows XP and Server 2000/2003 (or even NT 4) as the baseline, and looked at what's happening now (you know with that 10-20 years of progress).

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@Vince's wisdom

My stupidity is wiser than your own wisdom.

1) Even if PS is a cli chef-d'œuvre, coming up with it in 20 years after bashing BASH tells you something about the MS' sagacity.

The problem that your cleverness is blind about is that MS is really messing up on the KISS principle both literally and figuratively. You don't over complicate a shell with OOP constructs. A shell by itself is not of much use. It needs an infrastructure of independent utilities, like find, grep, cat, less, sync, bc, wc etc and desirably some more languages like awk, sed or perl. See busybox implementation, e.g. PS cannot do what find+grep let you, btw.

If you simply come up with everything in one, you'll disregard KISS... and your shell will suck.

2) Yes, we know it MS are always so ingenious and wise, and this is the devs that mess everything. And why is that *nix devs are so much different, since I cannot recall when an installed app on many of my system would abuse the privileges. SAy, iotop started to require root due to the change in the kernel I/O API.

3) As far as the Core Server is concerned and you're not being able to see that MS were refuting their own statements , your wisdom is pretty one-sided

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