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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boing
Member since:
2007-05-22

I have read multiple comments on this subject over the last several days, and I don't understand why so many people are twisting the facts, and so upset. Here are the facts:

1) ActiveSync will be discontinued only for new Google Sync connections. It will continue to work for Ad based (or what people call "FREE") accounts that already have a connection setup. It will not just "break" for existing connections. So what you have will continue to work without issues.
2) If you are a company, and if you purchase the business edition you will still have ActiveSync. So companies that use some of their profits to purchase a business account will be unaffected.
3) IMAP does do PUSH (IMAP IDLE), and it is not as inefficient as everyone goes on about. This is an old white paper but a good read: http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/imap-idle.html
4) Google has to license each ActiveSync connection. This means they have to pay Microsoft for each connection they support.

So what is the issue? These are "free" accounts, which Google has to pay for. Maybe they decided they could make more money (or Ads were making less for them) by removing the ActiveSync licensing and using open standards. If you are a "free" account user, then I am sure if you want to remain free and use sync for new connections, then implementing CalDAV and CardDAV should not be an issue.

I am "not" a fan of Google, but I do think what Google is doing is a good choice. The real issue is that Microsoft needs to support CalDAV and CardDAV, or open up the ActiveSync protocol. I think they will be forced to do something eventually, just as IE was forced to be more standards complaint. If more companies remove ActiveSync support like Google, Microsoft will be forced to make a move sooner rather then later. Microsoft being forced to do something is not always a bad thing (IE10, .NET, IIS & PHP, etc..). Another good example of this sort of thing happening is Adobe and FLASH, and how they have been forced to adapt to a more standards approach.

Open standards are a good thing.

Reply Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


1) ActiveSync will be discontinued only for new Google Sync connections. It will continue to work for Ad based (or what people call "FREE") accounts that already have a connection setup. It will not just "break" for existing connections. So what you have will continue to work without issues.


The issue is that existing configurations, for say, new devices, pre-configure GMail to use EAS because it is a simpler solution to roll out, and because it integrates nicely into the enterprise.

So while no current users are affected, people now have to scramble to alter the way they configure Gmail accounts. For example, on Windows Phone 7, Gmail accounts are auto set up to use Google Sync with EAS.

Meaning after the cut off date, any WP device that comes with Gmail must be reconfigured or it will not work out of the box. That's a breaking experience.


2) If you are a company, and if you purchase the business edition you will still have ActiveSync. So companies that use some of their profits to purchase a business account will be unaffected.


For now. That's the really worrying part to business I'd imagine. It must be absolutely horrifying that Google even flirts with the idea of ditching EAS.


3) IMAP does do PUSH (IMAP IDLE), and it is not as inefficient as everyone goes on about. This is an old white paper but a good read: http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/imap-idle.html


When resources are at a premium, say on a mobile device, "not as inefficient" doesn't really cut it.

IMAP IDLE is flawed in that respect. It becomes increasingly more demanding to receive push emails (Never mind the fact that the e-mail isn't even downloaded in the background like EAS)

Saying its an alternative to ActiveSync Push is foolish.


I am "not" a fan of Google, but I do think what Google is doing is a good choice. The real issue is that Microsoft needs to support CalDAV and CardDAV, or open up the ActiveSync protocol. I think they will be forced to do something eventually, just as IE was forced to be more standards complaint.


I agree with implementing CalDAV and CardDAV, if only for completeness. The ActiveSync protocol is open, its just royalty encumbered. You pay to play. That's different from not being able to play at all.


If more companies remove ActiveSync support like Google, Microsoft will be forced to make a move sooner rather then later. Microsoft being forced to do something is not always a bad thing (IE10, .NET, IIS & PHP, etc..). Another good example of this sort of thing happening is Adobe and FLASH, and how they have been forced to adapt to a more standards approach.

Open standards are a good thing.


Maybe. I just don't see it happening. There is no good replacement for EAS yet. I think maybe once better IMAP extensions become more mainstream..then we could revisit this conversation but I have a huge problem with degrading the experience for the sake of open standards.

Come up with something better, don't just stand on the shoulders of the fact that a standard is open.

Reply Parent Score: 1

boing Member since:
2007-05-22

"
The issue is that existing configurations, for say, new devices, pre-configure GMail to use EAS because it is a simpler solution to roll out, and because it integrates nicely into the enterprise.

So while no current users are affected, people now have to scramble to alter the way they configure Gmail accounts. For example, on Windows Phone 7, Gmail accounts are auto set up to use Google Sync with EAS.

Meaning after the cut off date, any WP device that comes with Gmail must be reconfigured or it will not work out of the box. That's a breaking experience.


Yes I do agree EAS is a easier solution to setup on a mobile device. Yes you are correct, "free" users will have to setup their devices in another way for future connections, but then again its a free account so putting some of your time in to adapt doesn't seem to far fetched. As far as Windows Phone, looks like Microsoft needs to support CalDav and CardDAV. Android and iOS already support this, so it looks like Microsoft is behind the curve here since Android and iOS are the majority of the phone market OS'es. So it is only "breaking" Windows Phone. My suggestion is current Windows Phone users move over to Outlook.com or scream to have Microsoft support CalDAV and CardDAV like Google, Apple, and just any other small business hosting company.


2) If you are a company, and if you purchase the business edition you will still have ActiveSync. So companies that use some of their profits to purchase a business account will be unaffected.


For now. That's the really worrying part to business I'd imagine. It must be absolutely horrifying that Google even flirts with the idea of ditching EAS.


We can't speculate the future, I am looking at now, and right now paid users get EAS. No issue here if you are a company and pay for the services.


3) IMAP does do PUSH (IMAP IDLE), and it is not as inefficient as everyone goes on about. This is an old white paper but a good read: http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/imap-idle.html


When resources are at a premium, say on a mobile device, "not as inefficient" doesn't really cut it.

IMAP IDLE is flawed in that respect. It becomes increasingly more demanding to receive push emails (Never mind the fact that the e-mail isn't even downloaded in the background like EAS)

Saying its an alternative to ActiveSync Push is foolish.


If resources are at a premium, I think people have more to worry about then IMAP IDLE. Best to start looking at apps running services in the background (Facebook, Twitter, etc..). Funny a person (not saying you) might worry about IMAP IDLE, but then run a ton of apps with services running in the background. Actually I do think IMAP IDLE is "acceptable", even if it costs me a little more battery as compared to the proprietary solution from Microsoft.

I never said IMAP is an alternative to ActiveSync, BUT I do think IMAP (with IMAP IDLE), CalDAV, and CardDAV IS an alternative to ActiveSync. It might not be the most efficient alternative, but never the less, it is an alternative which I find acceptable. So for you to say IMAP (with IDLE)+CalDAV+DalDAV is not an alternative to ActiveSYNC would be just as foolish.


I agree with implementing CalDAV and CardDAV, if only for completeness. The ActiveSync protocol is open, its just royalty encumbered. You pay to play. That's different from not being able to play at all.


Exactly, and Google decided not to pay to play for their "free" accounts. If someone has a problem with this and MUST use ActiveSync, then go use Outlook.com. Makes sense to use the email solution from the vender who offers the proprietary paid license solution.


If more companies remove ActiveSync support like Google, Microsoft will be forced to make a move sooner rather then later. Microsoft being forced to do something is not always a bad thing (IE10, .NET, IIS & PHP, etc..). Another good example of this sort of thing happening is Adobe and FLASH, and how they have been forced to adapt to a more standards approach.

Open standards are a good thing.

Maybe. I just don't see it happening. There is no good replacement for EAS yet. I think maybe once better IMAP extensions become more mainstream..then we could revisit this conversation but I have a huge problem with degrading the experience for the sake of open standards.

Come up with something better, don't just stand on the shoulders of the fact that a standard is open.


As I said earlier, there is a replacement for EAS, and that is IMAP (with IDLE), CalDav, and CardDav. Is this the best solution, no. Then again a lot of "free" software is not the best solution, but it is an acceptable solution (such as OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office). If you want to pay for a better solution, then go purchase it. If the company that makes the better solution offers you free use of that solution if you use their services, then go use their services.

Personally I find IMAP (with IDLE), CalDal, and CardDav acceptable and is what I use. The good thing is if everyone adopts these open standards I can connect to anybody's service. So it sounds like I got more choice going the open standard route.
"

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Meaning after the cut off date, any WP device that comes with Gmail must be reconfigured or it will not work out of the box. That's a breaking experience.

Of a competing platform's unauthorized use.
That's still Microsoft's problem and a brilliant move on Google's part(though not promoting competition, but we know of Google's views on Microsoft).


For now. That's the really worrying part to business I'd imagine. It must be absolutely horrifying that Google even flirts with the idea of ditching EAS.

Now that is pure FUD. Paying customers are paying customers and they will get what they need. Google has only expanded the services for their GApps for Business users.

Reply Parent Score: 2

segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The issue is that existing configurations, for say, new devices, pre-configure GMail to use EAS because it is a simpler solution to roll out, and because it integrates nicely into the enterprise.

It doesn't 'integrate nicely into the enterprise'. It's required for use by Exchange because it's impossible to get what people want out of Exchange any other way. That's it.

So while no current users are affected, people now have to scramble to alter the way they configure Gmail accounts. For example, on Windows Phone 7, Gmail accounts are auto set up to use Google Sync with EAS.

No one gives a shit about what happens on a Windows Phone quite frankly. I'm also afraid that the market share isn't there to push enough users into getting Outlook.com addresses.

Microsoft, and you, have this false sense of security that they are in a position of strength but in reality the only position of strength Microsoft have - the enterprise, i.e. Exchange lock-in - is in reality being surrounded by a far larger userbase.

Meaning after the cut off date, any WP device that comes with Gmail must be reconfigured or it will not work out of the box. That's a breaking experience.

No one cares. Microsoft knows what they can do if they want to fix it. Google could write something for Windows Phone I suppose but I doubt it's worth even a couple of hours of their time given the number of users it affects.

For now. That's the really worrying part to business I'd imagine. It must be absolutely horrifying that Google even flirts with the idea of ditching EAS.

They will, once Exchange is effectively dead. Until then there are no such worries.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

3) IMAP does do PUSH (IMAP IDLE), and it is not as inefficient as everyone goes on about. This is an old white paper but a good read: http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/imap-idle.html


Then why doesn't Google support it on Android?

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=23971

Reply Parent Score: 1

boing Member since:
2007-05-22

"3) IMAP does do PUSH (IMAP IDLE), and it is not as inefficient as everyone goes on about. This is an old white paper but a good read: http://www.isode.com/whitepapers/imap-idle.html


Then why doesn't Google support it on Android?

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=23971
"

Now this is a VERY good question I wish I knew the answer to. Actually the only default mobile mail client I know from the past that supported IMAP IDLE is Blackberry. Personally I think all of default mobile mail clients should support IMAP IDLE (Are you listening Microsoft, Google, and Apple).

The good thing about Android and other OS'es is that the 3rd party apps pick up the slack. In the case of Android I use "K-9 Mail" (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fsck.k9). I actually find "K-9 Mail" much better then the default Google mail client because it supports many more features including IMAP IDLE.

Reply Parent Score: 3