Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 18th Dec 2012 00:03 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft has just responded to Google's move regarding Exchange ActiveSync. Sadly, instead of addressing the very real problems consumers are about to face, Microsoft starts talking about switching to Outlook.com.
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Lennie
Member since:
2007-09-22

Not sure about the patenting, but the EU forced Microsoft to make a lot of protocols available to competitors.

And Samba team payed Microsoft 10.000 Euros to get access to that documentation:

http://fsfe.org/news/2007/news-20071220-01.en.html

On 11 dec. (so only couple of days ago) Samba 4 was released which implements a large number of Microsoft protocols and processes. Most of it was already reference engineered of course.

Which includes pretty much all the features Microsoft supports: different domain controller roles, Active Directory, LDAP, Kerberos, DNS, dynamic DNS updates, the SMB 2.0 and SMB 2.1 protocols included since Windows Vista and even experimental support the SMB 3.0 which is included in Windows Server 2012.

The SMB 3.0 protocol which was needed for Windows Server 2012 "Scale Out File Server" brings support for Active/Active and failover Fileserver support.

Which is something the Samba team already did since 2007 with the older SMB 1.x protocols. That is why when the Samba team went to Microsoft this year to do interability testing the Samba team could test code for SMB 3.0 they only created a day before they arrived and it worked.

Also the Linux 3.7 kernel released a couple of days ago also experimental client support for SMB 2.x, most of that code comes from the Samba developers of course.

Let's get back to E-mail and Exchange, the OpenChange project is a full Exchange replacement based on Samba 4 libraries/code.

Only a couple of days ago the OpenChange project completed most of the features by adding support for Active Sync/Outlook Anywhere by implementing the RFC over HTTP(S)*

Maybe Google had a contract with some company to provide them an implementation for ActiveSync and Google did not renew the contract because they knew they could use the above mentioned code if they needed to enable it again ?

Because of the Samba team you too can now see the protocol specification:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc243950%28v=prot.20~*~...

So yes, it isn't an open standard and there might be patent problems, but I doubt the problems are all that great now.

So thanks to the EU and the Samba and OpenChange teams the open source code exists (GPLv3 which has a special patents clause to help protect the innocent as well).

The Samba team even sends them notifications if documentation is wrong and Microsoft fixes the documentation.

I always love to hate Microsoft and Microsoft did not do this out of love, they were forced to. So I think we can still have them ;-)

But hey if people don't use Microsoft protocols it isn't a great loss, they usually suck. For example because of compatibility reasons Microsoft still uses crappy hashing for their password store:

http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/12/25-gpu-cluster-cracks-every...

* http://tracker.openchange.org/issues/42

Edited 2012-12-18 01:01 UTC

Reply Score: 11

dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

My uninformed guess would be that running Exchange Active Sync over open protocol is costly in term of processor time, bandwidth and maintenance , and as much money Google is getting from advertising to "free" user, Google probably did the math of using dev/server ops time and maintaining a protocol that is used by a small portion of their users ( which can still continue to access via the web client, and I guess that writing a notification client for gmail on windows phone is not that painful ).

And I agree that not supporting open protocol (as old as they are), is pretty much a pity for a mail client.
Example: if your company didn't invest in windows servers would you like your corporate to go through a 3rd party server.

So as good as microsoft softwares/servers/services are, there is something infuriating with shoving yet another service down your throat.

Reply Parent Score: 4

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Plus let's not forget that Microsoft claims Android violences IP of them. They even get $ per sold unit from lots of the device-makers. Its known that there claim applies to at least there FAT32 long filename extension and protocols. Google tries to free Android from that Microsoft tax and legal risk associated with it.

USB mass-storage is being replaced by MTP and Microsoft propitary protocols are replaced with open standard protocols. Claiming Google tries to harm Microsoft AFTER they already supported Microsoft protocols, etc is not fair taken into account that supporting them results in that Microsoft tax what makes using Android more expensive and increases the legal risk and so goes against Google's interest to spread Android.

Let's face it. If being compatible with Microsoft means you need to pay them big money and make your strategy a risk then not being compatible with Microsoft but following and pushing open standards just makes lot of sense. No only from a business view but also from a morality view. The future belongs to us. Let's keep the future open.

Edited 2012-12-18 07:32 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5