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 …

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  1. h3

    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.

    1. Andrew Lobban

      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 :)

    2. badmonkey
      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.

    3. Test Man
      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.

      1. badmonkey

        Re: I agree gmail sucks now.

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

        1. Raumkraut

          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.

      2. h3

        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.

  2. Andy_H
    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.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Winter cleaning?

    It's summer in the southern hemisphere.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      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.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      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.

      1. Marvin the Martian
        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.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Winter?

          >Whatever GCSE season we're in

          MCSE :) otherwise it's not funny.

    3. fandom Silver badge

      Re: Winter cleaning?

      Actually, it is spring.

  4. Mattjimf

    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.

    1. K Silver badge
      Pirate

      Nope... heres a hint CHA CHA CHING!

      1. HollyHopDrive

        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....

        1. dogged
          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.

          1. badmonkey

            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.

            1. Test Man
              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.

              1. dogged

                Re: i have to use outlook.com

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

          2. Neil Alexander
            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.

          3. jonathanb Silver badge

            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.

          4. David Glasgow

            Re: i have to use outlook.com

            Christmas shopping not going well?

            C'mon. Be nice.

          5. b166er

            Re: i have to use outlook.com

            Oops!

            Bet you feel silly now :D

            Have another whisky, it's Xmas!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          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.

          1. eulampios
            Facepalm

            Re: i have to use outlook.com

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

        3. Anonymous Coward
          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..

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: i have to use outlook.com

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

    2. badmonkey
      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.

    3. Still Water

      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)

  5. Anonymous Coward
    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.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    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....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      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).

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. dogged
          Stop

          Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

          House rules, Eadon.

          Unless Google are paying you to ignore those.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            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...

        3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          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?

          1. badmonkey

            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.

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              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.

              1. badmonkey

                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.

              2. Peter Ford

                Doing IMAP right

                If you want a *server* that does IMAP right, then Courier MTA is the one to have: Sam Varshavik has slavishly followed the various RFCs and standards to make a system that is totally standards-compliant.

                However, you might need some help getting a client to work well with it...

                Having said that, my own installation seems fine with Thunderbird, Apple Mail and the stock Android email app...

          2. Volker Hett

            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.

      2. eulampios

        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.

    2. badmonkey
      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.

      1. eulampios
        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..

        .......

        1. Vince
          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).

          1. eulampios

            @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

      2. Levente Szileszky
        WTF?

        Re: Fixed it for ya, Microsoft...

        "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."

        You are either an utterly stupid troll or an utterly clueless monkey, badmonkey - Google's IMAP WORKS WITH EVERYTHING, just fine, with any client, right out of the box.

        Outdated? Are you calling IMAP v4 outdated when Microsoft's MAPI is from the 80s, pretty much based on X.400...?

        Seriously, you MS shills need to double-check the idiotic PR crap you are being fed by your paymasters...

    3. Spanners Silver badge
      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.

    4. Gil Grissum
      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.

  7. jkt2

    Am I right in thinking that Google have to pay Microsoft to support ActiveSync?

    Why would Google pay Microsoft to support a service which appears to be only a benefit to users of Microsoft based platforms when non royalty based protocols exist that anyone can use (even Microsoft)?

    Would have thought it would have been a benefit to just set the ActiveSync protocol free for anyone to use then we probably wouldn't have this situation.

    Why are Microsoft surprised, would have thought they would have seen this one coming a mile away?

    1. badmonkey

      A better question is why do Google not come up with their own offering that is superior to the horrible IMAP interface that they do bother with.

      I know that the answer is that they want eyeballs on their web interface, and preferably via Chrome, but I'm happy to see some interest at least in the tech community that apparently indicates some lingering interest in proper e-mail clients... despite the sorry state of affairs in that department, at least in the Windows environment.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        WTF?

        > horrible IMAP interface

        ???

        IMAP is a protocol, used by email clients. Everyone's "IMAP interface" is much the same, see RFC 3501

        1. badmonkey

          Whatever. Gmail uses weird folder structuring and what it does with sent e-mails is "non standard".

          1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

            @badmonkey

            IMAP is a protocol, and does not imply any structure on the way mailboxes (folders) are set-up and named.

            The problem is that now people use a hybrid of reading their mail on a web enabled mail server, and downloading mails to a local mail client, you need some structure on the server, something that IMAP was never explicitly written for. There is code to handle it, mainly by treating folders as separate mailboxes, but there is no standard structure defined, and nor should there be in a protocol standard.

            As Gmail does not really support folders (from what I remember, one of the design criteria was that it would not use folders, anything that looks like a folder is really a set of mails indexed using tags), this probably adds difficulty to communication with another mail server that does use folders. Add this to a protocol that does not embrace folders in the first place, and it is clear that it will never be smooth, and how well it works is probable more to do with the mail server and mail clients than to imap.

            1. eulampios

              maildir or mbox

              Exactly, the mere openness and interoperability of IMAP dictate to abstract from the server-side mailbox structure. Not sure though, which of the maildir or mbox model do Google really use on the server side.

          2. eulampios

            FYI, badmonkey

            Gmail uses weird folder structuring

            What is wrong with it? Inbox and Sent plus [Gmail]/{All Mail, Drafts, Important, SentMail, Spam, Starred, Trash}. You can create any folder you want and where you want.

            and what it does with sent e-mails is "non standard"

            Again what is it? Imap doesn't handle that. You are confusing IMAP with the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) that is also open and used to universally send email messages (and it might well be outdated and crap according to the crap connoisseur from Redmond)

          3. Vince

            How about that it uses "Labels" as "mailboxes/folders" and not IMAP keywords, the duplication issues?

            How about that it doesn't respond to many standard flags?

            The non standard handling of deleted folders, sent items, the broken drafts.

            It goes on and on.

            1. eulampios

              @vince

              How about that it uses "Labels" as "mailboxes/folders"

              How about what is a problem? Can you navigate between gmail boxes? Yes. Can you create new boxes/labels? Can you remove them? Yes you can.

              I can delete folders, regex-tagged messages from mutt. The feature to move messages to the trash box (where you can delete it immediately or wait a until it automatically does) is akin a trash folder. I'd prefer to rm, but most user would probably not.

              Which flags it doesn't respond to?

              Sent items? What's with them? I keep drafts locally

        2. dogged

          Google's is non-standard in several ways.

          Embrace, extend....?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Which is the problem, it's old, hasn't been updated and improved and so it doesn't fit the modern multi device, multi account world we live in.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      jkt2,

      A good reason that Google might want to consider paying Microsoft actual money to use Exchange Active Sync is that their users want them to. Also, it works. Whereas Google's implementation of IMAP doesn't (at least not properly or consistently). Also iOS uses the same protocol to connect to GMail doesn't it?

      Google are perfectly willing to sacrifice their customers' in order to pursue a corporate bunfight. It's their servers, their rules. But that does risk their customers deciding to bugger off though.

      And yes, I'm aware that GMail is kind-of free. Although the cost is actually access to your personal data and permission to show targeted ads, so it could be argued that it's not cheap after all. Anyway, Google recognise it's a valuable service, because they're keeping it for their paying customers, so they can't argue that open standards are better. Not being cost-effective is a perfectly valid argument though. But they didn't use that.

      1. jkt2

        ActiveSync

        Hmmm iOS users are pretty safe at the moment as Google are permitted (at Apples discretion of course) to distribute a dedicated email client for that platform, its not a big problem for iOS users (for the moment).

        For contacts and calendars Google supports CardDAV and CalDAV, both royalty free protocols

        I agree the cutting of access to Exchange Active Sync to normal customers is an PITA for most Windows Phone users but then Microsoft have competing web services such as Outlook.com (which will now have to fill the void, if one does in fact exist).

        It would appear that the users of the WP platform have opted for the MS echosystem and all that entails (that should be clear for anyone that has jumped to Windows Phone, it's a Microsoft centric device after all).

        I can only presume the reason that Google ditched Exchange Active Sync is because of the royalties involved (not insignificant) and the user base of the WP platform. Cost/Benefit analysis probably determined that it doesn't make commercial sense to support Microsoft Active Sync users unless they are paying for the privilege of using the royalty baring protocol (Business Users will).

        At the end of the day the decision probably boiled down to cold hard cash (as most do) rather than rhetoric.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: ActiveSync

          jkt2,

          I'm not sure it's much comfort to iOS users when their synching stops working. There are open calendar and contacts standards that GMail may operate (possibly even minus the IMAP bugs...). But as I understand it Apple's own apps use Active Sync. So they can move to Google's app, but when another app wants to send an email it'll launch the native Apple mail client first. Unlike Android you can't have another app become default. So the one's that understand the problem will be able to solve it. More likely, they'll have to ask someone else.

          As for Win Pho I doubt that's mostly sold to people who knew they were signing up for MS lock-in. As MS are aiming it at consumers. Maybe they'll put their email stopping working down to MS, and move to Android. Or maybe they'll put it down to Google and move to Hotmail/Live/Outlook/whatever-they-call-it-next week...

          I've got Win Pho 7, so I admit to being a touch grumpy about this. But I was only using GMail as an easy synching tool, so I can easily swap. The business stuff goes through our Exchange server.

          I'm looking at a new phone anyway, it may be another Android (Nexus 4 looks yummy), but Google have been annoying me of late, and I'm wondering if I shouldn't dump them and go a different route.

          1. jkt2

            Re: ActiveSync

            Spartacus,

            Hmm perhaps I was wrong about iOS users now that you mention the native mail client opening thingy. I guess that's the point though, open (or at least open'ish platforms and standards) beat closed and locked down every time, still, Google managed to create a way for links in its maps application to be opened up in its Google Maps app for iOS 6 so perhaps they might engineer a work around for that... doesn't help much at the moment now though but hope for the future perhaps?

            As for Win Pho, yeah I know a couple of people that will be hacked off and maybe justifiably so, but once again, MS wanted to rule the world and only implemented support for Active Sync when they should have at least considered currently active open protocols when writing a basic email client . Why they didn't at least include this functionality is beyond me...can't say I'm surprised though.

            I just don't get how Microsoft can be 'surprised' by this move, it would appear they still haven't realized that they are not the only game in town anymore and that charging for the privilege of using a protocol to use their products will in the end put other providers off using it when other non royalty baring standards exist (which are 'good enough') and can be freely implemented. It seems basic business logic to me.

            As for normal users, normal users would probably have opted for the services that came with the Phone and probably signed up to Skydrive and Outlook in one go... unfamiliar with Windows Phone but surely you can sign up to the Microsoft services when you boot the phone??

            1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

              Re: ActiveSync

              jkt2,

              Win Pho isn't the locked in nightmare that some people seem to think. On my email set up screen in Win Pho 7.5 I have options for Windows Live and Outlook, Nokia/Yahoo/Googlemail, POP and IMAP.

              I don't know what they support in terms of CalDAV and CardDAV though. I have a vague recollection that along with IMAP on iOS you can use CardDAV, but it doesn't do CalDAV. Or that could be t'other way round.

              The problem isn't that email isn't going to work, it's that Active Sync does push and synchs calendars and address books as well as email. Whereas IMAP doesn't do any of those, and Google's implementation of IMAP is a bit poo.

              I believe you can set up a Windows Live account out of the box with Windows Phone.

              It'll be interesting to see if Google send an email to people using Active Sync to explain what they're doing and how to work around it. I use an iPad, a Windows Phone and GMail to synch some things between them, so I've got a foot in all camps at the moment.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ActiveSync

            re: Windows phone lock-in:

            You can now sync music from several sources, including iTunes, to a Windows phone. You can also use many different non-MS email/calendar services. The only thing that you need to use MS for is their app store, which is pretty much fair enough.

            I don't have a WP8, but I do have a WP7.5, so I'm not 100% sure about the above, but it seems to be the case, from reading a few reviews.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ActiveSync

          ActiveSync isn't Windows Phone specific. So your argument makes no sense.

  8. The BigYin

    So...

    ....out of the frying pan and into the fire, eh?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    Another example of Google offering free services, then when they've reeled in the customers charging them for the services they've already signed up to?

    Please make up your own "first try is free" type of crack dealer comparison.

  10. paul 97
    Thumb Up

    From Exchange To Gmail

    Our business has moved from Exchange to Google Apps.

    I love it , as my linux box never worked well with exchange (Evolution MAPI was ok , but slow).

    1. badmonkey

      Re: From Exchange To Gmail

      Expensive though isn't it?

      Will Outlook.com not do for free the same thing? (basically unrestricted [500] users and data)

      If you're using the free version of Apps, you have the same issues as before - IMAP support is of poor quality, EAS is generally superior if your clients support it, you cannot do email forwarding, low number of users allowed, etc.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: From Exchange To Gmail

      We moved the other way, we've found Gmail to be slow (particularly with automatic forwarding and out of office) and have a rather irritatingly inconsistent UI.

  11. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: outlook.com

      Repost of withdrawn comment, with a bit missed off to comply with house rules:

      I don't want my email to be cool, I just want it to work. Why would I want email to be cool?

      Personally I use my own domain, but how you can say that gmail is more or less cool than outlook, I don't know...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: outlook.com

        "how you can say that gmail is more or less cool than outlook, I don't know..."

        Because your conversing with a spotty teanager with litlle life experience, and alot of knowledge to gain!

        (Certainly seems like it, shocking if its not)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: outlook.com

          "Because your conversing with a spotty teanager with litlle life experience, and alot of knowledge to gain!"

          That certainly appears to be the case. Also, I think I hear the distant sound of an English teacher attempting to end it all.

    3. Ilgaz

      Re: outlook.com

      Accountants and business guys are known to go mad if they launch outlook application by accident.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: outlook.com

        @Ilgaz - Really? Have I missed sarcasm? I worked in FTSE100 financial companies for about fourteen years and Outlook/Exchange was the client/server of choice followed by Domino. I remember taking Outlook/Exchange out of a company, now that drove people hopping mad...

        1. Ilgaz

          Re: outlook.com

          I have seen outlook application choking a dual core laptop and using 10% of battery when launched by accident.

          It is comparable to photoshop in use by a pro with lots of plugins but it would be harsh comparison.

  12. Phil W

    I don't really see a problem

    Personally I don't really see a huge benefit in Activesync over IMAP.

    I've never encountered any problems using IMAP. so I'd be quite interested for some of you people bashing it so hard to explain your grievances. I use IMAP for 2 of mail services, one of which is my own Linux based mail server for my own domain. It works faultlessly.

    Not that I have any problem with Activesync, I support an Exchange 2010 infrastructure at work exclusively using Activesync (IMAP and POP3 support disabled) and have no issues using that.

    The only problem Activesync ever presents is the one usually inherent in proprietary protocols, incompatibility.

    A number of users complain about lack of support for their Blackberry, and even a small number about the lack of support for Thunderbird.

    1. dogged

      Re: I don't really see a problem

      Personally I don't really see a huge benefit in Activesync over IMAP.

      Calendar entries and contacts. IMAP doesn't sync them, ActiveSync does.

      1. Phil W

        Re: I don't really see a problem

        dogged:

        True IMAP doesn't do calender and contacts but it isn't supposed to, it's an email protocol not a generic data exchange protocol. Your point is akin to saying SMTP doesn't stream video.

        Calender and Contact support is provided by CalDAV and CardDAV, both of which are quite decent protocols.

        A major bug bear of mine with ActiveSync is that you can't access shared calenders with it, only ones that you directly own. I'm pretty sure CalDAV will let you access any calender you have rights to, though I could be wrong as I don't use it a great deal.

        1. dogged
          Headmaster

          Re: I don't really see a problem

          Your point is akin to saying SMTP doesn't stream video.

          It would be, if Google's offering was limited to email and had no calendar or contact management functionality. Since it has both, my point is more akin to saying that a particular mobile phone OS can't do SMS.

          1. Phil W

            Re: I don't really see a problem

            dogged:

            No you're still being silly and wrong. Your complaint about IMAP was that it doesn't support something it was never intended or designed to do.

            You justify this by saying that it's crap because Google provide Calender and Contact services which IMAP doesn't support. Yes true, that is why they offer CalDAV and CardDAV which do Calender and Contact sync respectively.

            The worst you can say is that Google have replaced one protocol with three. But that's hardly the crime of the century, especially when you consider that ActiveSync is proprietary and poorly supported on some platforms due to coding or licensing issues, where as the 3 protocols they offer instead are open standards that can realistically be supported on almost any platform and OS.

            1. dogged
              Stop

              Re: I don't really see a problem

              Your complaint about IMAP was that it doesn't support something it was never intended or designed to do.

              Not a complaint, merely an observation. You asked for the advantage of EAS over IMAP, I gave it to you. I am neither wrong nor silly.

              Further, I quite like IMAP. I don't like GMail because Google's implementation of IMAP is non-standard and seriously annoying.

      2. Ilgaz

        There is a standard for calendar/contacts

        It is called syncml, industry standard, documented, allows "push" and even IMAP remote configuration.

        Even Nokia S40 "dumb" phones have it.

        One of standards you opted out when you have chosen exchange that is.

    2. badmonkey
      Angel

      Re: I don't really see a problem

      IMAP is slow, usually, and clients don't tend to handle poor connections well.

      It has no sensible way to archive sent messages. What should happen is the sent message gets uploaded once, sent, and is archived in both the client's and the server's "sent" folder without further need for synchronization. What actually happens is either a) the client sends via SMTP and then uploads a second copy to the sent folder, or b) [like Gmail] the SMTP server copies the message over to the IMAP sent folder on the server, and the client then faithfully syncs it to the local sent folder. Either way double the bandwidth is used and it is fucking retarded.

      The deletion behavior of marking and purging is outdated and confusing for people who expect deleted messages to go to the "trash".

      There is no IMAP push.

      1. Phil W

        Re: I don't really see a problem

        badmonkey:

        I think you will find your issue with sent items is dependent on your client and server setup. I know for certain that with Oulook 2010, and my Android mail client. You can choose the sent item folder manually in the client, and set it to the folder on the mail server preventing duplication. Though I know you are correct that some clients don't do this and do cause unneccessary duplication.

        As far as the bandwidth is concerned, yes you're right but for the most part emails are maybe a few 100kb max, so it's hardly the end of the world.

        As for the deletion behaviour, I could be wrong but I think this again is mail client related rather than protocol related. The webmail client I have on my own server is SquirrelMail (also Horde) which both do have the mark and purge function. However when using the same account from my Android device, if I delete an item it goes directly to Deleted Items.

        As far as push goes. True it doesn't have the feature, but in reality neither does ActiveSync for the purposes of most clients. An Android or iDevice connected to Exchange 2010 and configured for push just checks mail every 5ms generating a crap load of unnecessary server load and wasting lots of that bandwidth you're so fond of sparing.

        1. Phil W

          Re: I don't really see a problem

          badmonkey:

          Forget to mention, IMAP isn't slow. However many clients implement the protocol poorly, and many server admins configure their servers poorly creating the appearance of it being slow.

          1. Ilgaz

            So lets blame people

            So imap and syncml are future ready open documented protocols but dumb admins and the IT decision makers who picks bad software& hardware are to blame.

            It is 2012 and people still use pop3 because of these idiots.

        2. badmonkey

          Re: I don't really see a problem

          >>> As far as the bandwidth is concerned, yes you're right but for the most part emails are maybe a few 100kb max, so it's hardly the end of the world.

          What, you never send attachments?

          >>> The webmail client I have on my own server is SquirrelMail (also Horde) which both do have the mark and purge function. However when using the same account from my Android device, if I delete an item it goes directly to Deleted Items.

          Great consistency there eh. Really wonderful for users.

          >>> in reality neither does ActiveSync for the purposes of most clients. An Android or iDevice connected to Exchange 2010 and configured for push just checks mail every 5ms generating a crap load of unnecessary server load

          That's not true in recent EAS versions.

          1. Phil W

            Re: I don't really see a problem

            badmonkey:

            Yes I do send attachments, but if I sent so many that the duplication was an issue i'd turn of the IMAP folder sync for the sent items folder. Or configure my clients not to automatically download attachments over a certain size.

            The consistency issue with deletion is not really relevant to this thread, which is about Google. Their web interface doesn't do mark and purge, and you can't really hold them accountable for the users choice of software client.

          2. eulampios

            imap parts

            What, you never send attachments?

            I bet you're talking about pop, not imap. imap4 does have a body multipart handling feature in which attachments do not get downloaded when you read the text body of the email. You just sent a big attachment a you'd like to re-download it? If you want syn local with server and vice versa, pop is what you really want.

      2. Ben Holmes
        Happy

        Re: I don't really see a problem

        I don't have anything constructive to add but wow - BadMonkey really hates IMAP.

        1. badmonkey
          Devil

          Re: I don't really see a problem

          LOL not really, I've just used it for years and am pissed with the number of irritating and obvious issues with it that never got resolved. I'm also pissed with Gmail for the same reason, but in both cases I've stuck with them so go figure.

          1. eulampios

            badmonkye , imap or pop?

            Have you been misspelling "pop" as "imap" all these irritating years?

      3. eulampios

        @badmonkye's misunderstanding

        badmonkey, you're asking a protocol used to read not sync your mail to do what POP is for. Again sending is handled via smtp, not imap. Yes it depends on the client how to do it. Mine is mutt, which would download a message if asked into a cache (in the maildir structure) just like a pop client.

      4. eulampios

        the imap delete function

        The deletion behavior of marking and purging is outdated and confusing for people who expect deleted messages to go to the "trash".

        That's some microsoftosophia I can hear in your voice. That would be fine if the once proclaimed by MS "outdated crap" would not have a tendency to pop up as another cool innovation, like Power Shell, Headless Core Server etc.

        TO delete mail in gmail imap you just move to the [Gmail]/Trash box. Isn't it "trashing" is about on MS Windows. Why wouldn't you "DEL" the file in the Explorer?

  13. ukgnome Silver badge
    Joke

    I don't see what the fuss is about

    I only have email accounts so that I can spend some time in the afternoon deleting the 150 plus emails for goods and services I no longer use.

  14. myxiplx2
    WTF?

    At least google only throw out features, MS threw out my accounts!

    I'd never go back to using any MS online account. We created a Live account some time back for work as it was required to use their online tools to track licenses. Imagine our pleasure when we tried to login the next year to renew the licenses when we found they had removed the account due to inactivity.

    Yes, we didn't use it, but they were enforcing this as the tool to use for license management, that's not exactly something you need to do regularly.

    There was no notification of their plans, and no way to recover the licensing details. We quickly scrapped their "recommended" approach and reverted to our existing manual system.

    1. badmonkey

      Re: At least google only throw out features, MS threw out my accounts!

      So presumably you don't use Gmail either, since their policy is to terminate accounts after 9 months of inactivity?

      https://mail.google.com/mail/help/intl/en/program_policies.html

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Test Man
      FAIL

      Re: At least google only throw out features, MS threw out my accounts!

      Next time read the terms and conditions, one of which is the need to log in at least once every so often. If you can't even read, let alone factor in one simple task into your tracking licence scheme, then you really should step away and leave it to someone more competant.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: At least google only throw out features, MS threw out my accounts!

        If I found someone checking annual licenses on a daily basis I'd probably fire them.

        And if you read the terms and conditions you'll not be doing any work either.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not arsed

    I've got both a gmail and a hotmail account.

    1. dogged

      Re: I'm not arsed

      And they both support forwarding, so you can use whichever one you prefer.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank goodness for POP

    Never had any probs.

    1. badmonkey

      Re: Thank goodness for POP

      Who needs server sync'ed and backed up email eh?

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Thank goodness for POP

        Email is one of the most important functions of the intertubes. And yet it's really hard to get it working properly as an end-user. Once you get beyond signing up to your ISP's service or getting a Hotmail/GMail account there are very few people who can work out how to get it going without help. As I can attest. I'm not an IT pro (I can't speak fluent geek, but I can get by enough to order a meal or book a hotel...), but I've had to set up email for a lot of friends who can't get their heads round the difference between POP and IMAP for example.

        Where the hell are the decent offline mail clients? Why is everything so damned incompatible? Why's it so hard? Aargh!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "can't get their heads round"

          If only more clients used autoconfig.

  17. Miek
    Trollface

    Or better still, just stop using exchange.

  18. John Sanders
    Linux

    I must be the odd one

    Who never had a problem with IMAP because doesn't use... Outlook.

    1. blondie101

      Re: I must be the odd one

      You are absolutely right! IMAP support in Outlook is really bad, but then it was was never built for it.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Shills Out In Full Force

    So Google terminates free usage of a M$ protocol they have to pay royalties for ? How sad, sad.

    More seriously, get a fucking grip !

    If all things went according to M$ and their shills, we all would be 100% locked into a undocumented, binary protocol that only three developers in Redmond understand entirely. We would pay for each and every email message like we pay for traditional mail. M$ "decency" standards would be imposed on the content. It would be insecure as hell on 125 levels.

    So, let's better use IMAP, POP3, SMTP, TLS which are all shitty in some way, but at least they don't lock us into the "business decisions" of clinically mad billionaires.

    But thanks, always nice to see the propaganda apparatus at work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shills Out In Full Force

      Mate,

      with comments like:

      "If all things went according to M$ and their shills, we all would be 100% locked into a undocumented, binary protocol that only three developers in Redmond understand entirely"

      Your credibility is sky high. Seriously.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shills Out In Full Force

        "Your credibility is sky high. Seriously."

        I can think of a few examples of MS not documenting/embracing+extending/hiding their protocols in their history. Some of them they were forced to document by a court, no less.

        ... perhaps what happens is that OP that more years of experience than you?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shills Out In Full Force

      @Frank - Like the house rules say: Just because someone doesn't share your opinion, it doesn't make them a shill, don't accuse them of being so.

      The problem is that Google have been offering a service for free and are now withdrawing it in preference of a pay-for service and they have form here. I find it staggering that people such as yourself are so willfully myopic that they can't see this as a problem and are still saying that MS are the bad guys in the situation.

      As has been mentioned earlier IMAP, POP3, SMTP etc don't move calendar and contacts, a key requirement for most people, activesync does.

      1. Gorbachov
        Gimp

        Re: Shills Out In Full Force

        Nor do they sync MP3s, pictures or documents. And my Linux PC and Android phone somehow manage to sync the address books and calendars ... so what's your point again?

  20. Mage Silver badge

    Almost all email

    Assumes there are no hackers.

    Also I don't wish to have my emails only stored on someone else's server, Microsoft's, Apple's, Yahoo's or Google's.

    Email generally is important because so many people use it, and where is the open source WIDELY USED secure (no source spoofing / free spam not just "intercept secuirity) and reliable alternative to Notes, Exchange, IMAP, POP3 and SMTP eh?

    Sorry, it sure isn't Twitter or Facebook.

  21. Mage Silver badge
    Flame

    Calender and Contact

    Microsoft gave the computing world a kick where it hurt most with Outlook/Exchange and not having the non-mail stuff separate. Not rocket science to write an application that uses a separate messaging package. The whole aim of SW development and easy to use end user applications should be to do SMALLER communicating applications.

    In win3.1 I installed a Spelling Checker and it worked for almost everything. On current systems EACH program seems to have it's own checker (often worse than programs 15 years ago). Rubbish and poorly published APIs?

  22. Volker Hett

    As far as I know, ActiveSync comes with a hefty license fee.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So?

      If they didn't have any intention of making the service work for free, they shouldn't have offered it for free.

  23. Ilgaz

    Basic question

    Where is native Microsoft (not third party) outlook client which adheres to Android standards?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why?

    I don't really know what Google hope to achieve with this, I only use it to sync my works outlook calendar with my Google one so I can see it on my phone, without sync, Google calendar becomes pointless for me. I can't choose not to use Outlook. Is there another way to sync an outlook calendar with a Google calendar.

    Anonymous since my usage of Google Calendar Sync probably violates dozens of IT policies.

    1. I am a machine (says Turing test)
      Holmes

      Re: Why?

      You can use android-sync (www.android-sync.com) to create local contacts and calendars on your Android phone and sync your outlook data over USB. That's how I carry my work calendar and contacts on my Android phone. The local contacts and calender are not synchronised with the Google cloud so Google thinks I am Billy-no-mates and I spend my days in bed never meeting anyone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why?

        ....but that would require me to actually do something, with the current set up it all just happens on it's own, so not worth the effort, one less use for my android phone, at least I can switch sync off now, save some battery and bandwidth - to be honest calendar syncing is about the most useful thing my phone does -

        and I don't understand how this costs Google anything, the sync tool runs on my (works) PC, extracts data from an Outlook calendar (using COM I assume) and then sends it to my google claendar using their standard protocols, where does MS even see any of this to 'charge' them fopr anything !!!. If that's not how it does it how does it manage to connect to a closed corporate Outlook server without requiring any permission, even Outlook asks for login details on occasion !!

        1. Phil W

          Re: Why?

          I'm not even going to attempt to to make sense of how you've tried to explain calender syncing there, but it doesn't sound remotely correct to me.

          As far getting your work calender on your phone. Why are you trying to copy the content of your work calender to your google calender? Why not simply access and sync your work calender directly on your phone? Android supports ActiveSync (and from I gather you're using Exchange at work), so simply add your work email account to your phone and sync your calender to your phone directly.

          Am I missing something here?

  25. vic 4

    gmail / outlook?

    No thanks, I'll avoid both thanks neither are remotely worth using though gmails web interface is by far the worse.

  26. MissingSecurity

    You know, for better (or worse depending on your zeal) this is probably a good thing for pushing Exchange out of the enterprise. If Google is going to focus on IMAP, calDAV, and cardDAV will probably see wider ranges and better implantation of these protocols.

  27. Joe Montana
    WTF?

    No surprise...

    Google have to pay MS a licence fee for each user they have that uses activesync, which is a colossal waste of money for a free service...

    Standard protocols like Caldav, Carddav, IMAP etc can be used for free...

    Everyone else has good support for standard protocols, even Apple, it's only MS that refuses to implement them and try to keep you locked in.

    Instead of complaining about google no longer willing to license a proprietary protocol and let you use it for free, how about complaining about MS for not bothering to support openly documented royalty free standards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No surprise...

      "Instead of complaining about google no longer willing to license a proprietary protocol and let you use it for free, how about complaining about MS for not bothering to support openly documented royalty free standards."

      yeah sure, because MS

      a. really care about that

      b couldn't give a shit

  28. b166er

    Thankfully it takes about 2 minutes to change the MX servers for my domain and if I do it at 1am, I probably won't notice anything at all except the reconfiguring of a few clients.?

    I thought Google got paid via advertising? Why are they making me now pay for ActiveSync? They'd better get their grubby mits off my Inbox if they want to keep that shit up.

  29. Steve Knox
    Devil

    Wow

    Microsoft this year re-branded its existing Hotmail service as Outlook.com.

    It says something about the perceived quality of your mail system when applying the Outlook brand is considered an improvement.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wait..

    Don't you have to pay a license fee to use ActiveSync?

    If so, I can see why Microsoft would be so strident, and why Google might want rid.

  31. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Exchange ActiveSync is rubbish

    "A good reason that Google might want to consider paying Microsoft actual money to use Exchange Active Sync is that their users want them to."

    If users want it they can pay for it. You can't really fault Google for not wanting to provide a servcei -- for free -- that they then have to pay Microsoft to use (and get nothing for it.)

    " Also, it works. Whereas Google's implementation of IMAP doesn't (at least not properly or consistently). Also iOS uses the same protocol to connect to GMail doesn't it?"

    Exchange ActiveSync protocol... well, I won't comment on functionality. But as a protocol, it sounds absolutely horrible. First, to clarify, ActiveSync is/was used to sync via USB or serial between a (Windows) PC and local (Windows) phone, and Exchange Activesync is using the Microsoft technique of placing a similar name on a completely unrelated protocol. It was a horrible design. The new protocol, if you can call it that, is XML-based but other than that, appears to just be defined as whatever Exchange feels like putting over the wire as opposed to having any proper definition -- and they just keep adding extra complexities with every release. Even when companies license it, they just get a patent license, no protocol documentation (because I think there isn't any.)

    So, you expect Google to pay Microsoft in order to increase compatibility with Microsoft products, while every other product on the market supports industry standards? Sorry but Microsoft can piss off.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    activesync licensing

    I read all comments, and I just wonder: if EAS icensing cost is an issue, why does every Android phone sold support EAS (poorly though) ? I'm just curious, isn't this a license fee per device sold ? And does Google foot the bill or the OEM (e.g. Samsung) ? I'm pretty sure Apple pays fees to MS for EAS support. Based on this, will EAS support be in the next Android version or not ? I assume it will be, since they would lose millions of customers overnight if it wasn't.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "an older protocol"

    LULZ!!! EPIC LULZ I say!!! MS has a sense of humor, trolling like that.

    Meanwhile loving dovecot and postfix.

  34. Potemkine Silver badge

    Exchange? What's that?

    Getting rid of exchange and its ecosystem was the best decision for us: too expensive, too complicated, too closed approach, too many compatibility issues, too many failures... switching to Google Apps one year ago was the best decision for a SME like ours with limited resources for IT. For a cost a fraction of the previous cost, now all of our users have access to a lot of services whose usage boosts our productivity through the GUI they want: outlook, thunderbird (+plugins), their favorite browser. The openness of Google APIs is a plus for customization. Also, as a side effect, this move enabled also to get rid of our Blackberry fleet and the associated BES server, and let users choose either IOs or Android devices.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glad I escaped

    Blech, had to use Exchange/Outlook years ago at a previous job. Exchange seemed to go down for hours at a time every month and people (luckily not me) were having problems with corrupted and sometimes deleted inboxes. Plus crap spam management. Outlook might as well double as a hard drive stress test and/or a laptop battery rundown test. Plus, what am I supposed to do with a bunch of proprietary PST files?

    I count my blessings with Google... lots of storage space, responsive, great spam filtering/management, great IMAP support... never had a problem getting it working with Thunderbird. Although now that Thunderbird has kind of turned to crap I use Apple's standard Mail app which is surprisingly good.

  36. takuhii

    Google are just out to piss everyone off this month, removing Exchange access, removing the ability to download from YouTube, next they'll be cancelling Christmas :/

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