Microsoft Scrambling to Beat ActiveSync Cut-Off Date – Breaking Analysis

In mid-December, Google announced its plans to discontinue support for Exchange ActiveSync with free Gmail accounts beginning January 30. SiliconANGLE Contributing Editor John Casaretto explained that for Microsoft phone users, this means a total loss of connectivity to their Gmail accounts, including email, calendars and contacts. He said, “Google cutting this off at this point is a major deal, and Microsoft is having to make some moves to try to keep this thing working.”

According to Casaretto, in an attempt to compensate for the loss of ActiveSync, Microsoft has enabled IMAP, but that will only handle the email part of the accounts. He added that they’re starting to work on a quick-fix solution to bring CardDAV and CalDAV into the picture, which are protocols that will bring sync functionality for contacts and calendars, respectively.

The Verge reported that Microsoft asked for a six month extension on the cut-off deadline to allow them time to roll out support for CardDAV and CalDAV, but so far, Google has been unresponsive to their request. This isn’t the first unfriendly encounter between the two companies. Casaretto cited other incidents where Google has slighted Microsoft, like when Windows phone users were blocked from using Google Maps, just on the basis that they were using a Windows phone. Another instance was when Microsoft developed their own YouTube app for the Windows phones, and Google was unwilling to share their APIs, even though they openly share them with Apple.

In related news, Microsoft has hired designer Andrew Kim to work on their XBox branding makeover. Casaretto weighed in on whether XBox needs new branding, saying that the XBox branding has been out there for a long time, and this will go hand in hand with development of a new XBox console, expected to be released later this year.  See the entire segment with Kristin Feledy and John Casaretto on the Morning NewsDesk Show.