back to article Google rolls its eyes, gives Windows Phones five more months to sync

Microsoft has bought Windows Phone users more time to sync their calendars and contacts with Google, which has agreed to push the kill date for its Google Sync service to the end of the year. "We've reached an agreement with Google to extend support for new Windows Phone connections to the Google Sync service through December …


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  1. h3

    Googles protocols are more closed than Activesync which at least can be licensed.

    The best user experience I have had for personal mail was Windows 8 Mail Client + everything on activesync. (Gmail / etc).

    Worked absolutely brilliantly until somehow it got disabled by Google. (When it shouldn't have).

    Google's interests (Same as Facebook's) are now pretty much completely at odd's with mine. Only difference is Facebook's always was whereas Google was quite reasonable up until recently.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You mean Google's closed protocols that are completely open and not developed by Google at all and are well-supported by everything, including e.g. iOS and OS X?

      Microsoft needs to get with the times and realize that the world isn't 95% Windows anymore and nobody cares about their stupid proprietary formats and protocols.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Oh rly?

        1. pepper

          Re: Oh rly?

          API != protocol

          Different things.

      2. NullReference Exception

        Well supported by everything... except Android.

        Seriously. Despite all of Google's supposed advocacy, Android STILL doesn't contain native support for CalDAV and CardDAV... you need third party apps. WTF?

  2. bitten

    Does Google pay a license for this?

    1. Zola

      Does Google pay a license for this?

      I believe they were paying a licence for each user of their free service - another incentive to dump ActiveSync ASAP, although I believe it remains available to Google Apps users that are now paying the monthly fee.

      Presumably with this extension, Google have cut a deal with Microsoft that forgoes any licence fee between now and December - I can't imagine they would agree to maintain the service another 6 months if they had to pay to do so.

      1. Al Jones

        What's the basis for your "belief" that Google was paying a licence? None of Google's statements on the whole matter makes any reference to license fees for ActiveSync support, and I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't mention it if that was a factor.

        If it was just about a license fee, and it was clear that MS was going to lose that revenue anyway, it would make sense for MS to waive that license fee for Google.

        Occam's razor suggests that there was no fee, it just suited Google to get rid of the ActiveSync service. Whether the impact on Windows Phone was a factor in that decision is anybody's guess!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What about the idiots that have a WP7 phone? Screwed once again?

    1. M Gale

      Re: WP7?



    2. Zola

      Re: WP7?

      What about the idiots that have a WP7 phone? Screwed once again?

      They should be used to it by now!

  4. Snark

    Hey lets be positive

    Two major tech companies squabbling and trying to put one over on each other and (even if some money or other bargaining changed hands) they've managed to avoid screwing over the customers that can be upgraded just to make a point. This doesn't make either less evil (the WP7 owners I feel bad for) but its quite refreshing for a change. Or maybe it's just Friday and I'm feeling optimistic.

    1. Shagbag
      Thumb Up

      Re: Hey lets be positive

      Yes, let's be positive. MSFT is being forced to use an open standard and not its own proprietary stuff. It is finally discovering what 'interoperability' really means.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hey lets be positive

        10 years too late however.

        Microsoft is a dying corporation with dead products.

        1. Ragarath

          Re: Hey lets be positive @AC 08:35

          I assume you have not seen Microsofts books recently?

          They do not seem to be dying or likely to do so quickly any time soon no matter how much people like you want us to have less choice in this world.

          We want more choice and equal choice, Microsoft is getting closer to the equal by starting (very slowly) to move everything to open standards. This puts everyone on a level playing field and they can choose what they want.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As per usual, CalDav gets a mention

    But not the inferior IMAP Idle.....

    1. Sebby

      Re: As per usual, CalDav gets a mention

      And how's that, exactly? (Please don't say "It keeps an open connection blah blah blah" because it's wrong; HTTP "Long polling" does the same thing. The only addition MS made to "Direct push" was an automatically adjusting timeout supplemented by proprietary data stored in the phone, to compensate for bloody NATs. If networks did their jobs properly, or when IPv6 happens, this will cease to be an issue and users can set their own timeouts according to their expectations of the importance of updates.)

      ActiveSync being taken away from iOS users was a blow because it meant you lost "Push", it's true. But only because Apple are control freaks and didn't want to implement IMAP IDLE themselves (iCloud is IMAP but the pushes go through APNS). So while I'm sorry that people suffer because of this tomfoolery, I'm certainly delighted that Google is waving Microsoft's dirty socks under their noses and yes, I enjoy the schadenfreude too. :)



  6. JohnnyZ

    Windows better get it together, or they'll be the next IBM.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actually MSFT screwed WP7 owners, lauding it as the next big thing and then obsoleting it in one year.

  8. Oli 1

    Truly laughable, google should just switch it off and watch them squirm!

    1. M Gale

      I think it's more to do with who would get the blame. A sudden chop, and Microsoft could say "well our hands are tied; those nasty Google people stopped it from working! :("

      If however, they still don't have their shit sorted by the time the twice-extended kill date rolls around, Google can now say "well we gave them a whole extra year longer than everyone else on the planet including the ones on our own platform. Not our fault if they still can't get it right."

  9. Ryan 7

    "Don't be evil"

    If they really subscribed to that sentiment, Google would create a Gmail app for WP8.

  10. qzdave

    Turn it all upside down

    I think it's interesting how competitive advantage has turned upside down. By owning the desktop OS, MS pwned everyone through controlling the interface standards - even reputedly killing off Lotus through giving them garbage APIs whilst Office used private back-doors.

    Now, despite prima facie control of their mobile OS they're having standards dictated to them by (what now passes for) the applications authors -- effectively their own tactics used against them.

    How frustrating it must be for them to experience trying to innovate and win market share whilst the leaders in the ecosystem change the rules at will and keep you spinning your wheels.

  11. Avatar of They


    Finally MS are being bitten by open standards, something they continue to laugh at. Glorious. I can't explain how happy I am that the world and dog are finally in a position with open standards that MS are being left behind and have to go crawling for extensions, when they have done nothing for them in decades and even now barely give a nod to open standards support.

    But to need six months extra to ensure their WINPHO customers can get an update? Really, I would have thought a limp and lame carrier pigeon, carrying lead weights could travel the world to find them in that time. There being so few of them.

  12. Robert Grant


    As far as I'm aware, the EAS stuff is nice because it does push notifications, which I'm not sure Google's CalDAV supports, other than as a proprietary Google protocol for their apps. I know proprietary is only bad when it's Microsoft, just as most Android phones are update-free once sold but only WP7 gets mentioned for not being supported enough, but it's worth a mention.

    Any iPhone users care to comment, as that thread seems to say that iPhone users should prefer EAS as well, subject to a 1-EAS-per-iPhone restriction, so I'm guessing this will hit them as well?

    1. Roo

      Re: Hmm

      "most Android phones are update-free once sold"

      Prove it.

      1. Robert Grant

        Re: Hmm

        That wasn't a dig at your phone platform of choice or your life, roo, if you saw it in either or both of those ways. I'm just stating what I believe to be a fact, and it's something that many, many people who didn't buy the absolute top-selling Android phones complain about.

        If you google Android fragmentation you get about 5.7 million results, which may be a better indication that what I said wasn't unreasonable than the weird silent votes in El Reg's comments system.

        1. Roo

          Re: Hmm

          "That wasn't a dig at your phone platform of choice or your life, roo, if you saw it in either or both of those ways."

          I didn't take it as a dig. I am just fed up of people making unsubstantiated assertions, particularly when my own personal experience directly contradicts them. You haven't even offered any evidence from your own personal experience for your assertion.

          "I'm just stating what I believe to be a fact"

          In other words it's a 'Factoid', not an actual fact, but something that is presented as fact, presumably with the aim to have the reader accept it as fact. This kind of FUD inducing factoid does mislead people and can cost them non-trivial amounts of time and money. You should care about that, and if you don't care why should anyone care about your opinion and what you write ?

          All factoids do is trash the Signal-to-Noise ratio and personally I think there's enough Noise out there already. I feel we would get more benefit from actively reducing the Noise and work on strengthening the Signal. With that in mind I am not blameless on the noise contribution front either. :)

          1. Robert Grant

            Re: Hmm

            So the thing to reply to would be the 5.7 million results on Android fragmentation. Seriously; there are different problems with each platform, and that's (even more than stuttering UI) what Android's most famous problem is.

            I'm not trying to mislead people (saying I am is FUD) - it's a pretty normal statement, backed up by complaints all over the place from people who don't own one of the very popular Android devices. That's why I bought a Nexus 7, because Google have a reputation of updating the Nexus devices as much as they can.

        2. M Gale

          Re: Hmm

          Windows Phone 7 was released. Amongst other silly things like the contrived "smoked by Windows Phone" competitions, the other thing Microsoft seemed to promise was an easy updates path, none of this horrible "fragmentation" stuff.

          Of course, as soon as WP8 is released, WP7 is dropped like a hot dog turd, seemingly by design. We now have Windows, Windows RT, and Windows Phone 8. So Windows, Windows or Windows, and none of them really interoperate entirely well with each other. Microsoft are trying to turn everyone's computer into an Xbox, meanwhile the whole "mobile" effort that Microsoft is uprooting everything for, is being received in a manner that could best be described as "lukewarm", and that's in the friendly territories.

          I can see how some fandroids might be experiencing schadenfruede.

          1. Robert Grant

            Re: Hmm

            Once WP8 was released, WP7 got a final, delayed update to WP7.8, which might not be ideal, but is probably better than the Apple equivalent, which would've been to do the same thing but call it WP8 with some features missing.

            Now, after 3 years of WP we have the old WP7.8 and the new WP8. That's it - that's all the fragmentation. And pretty much every app written for WP7 will work on 8, and you can still write 7 apps if you don't need the specific features for 8 and they'll work on both. Compare that to the Android situation, and I think you'll find a lot of Android phones are still on 2.x. And that linked graph is for AppBrain users, who are probably more likely than average to have an upgraded device.

            Not that it matters, and I'm not particularly an MS fan, but your second paragraph doesn't make a lot of sense (compare iPhone's interoperability with OSX's; and I'm pretty sure MS aren't trying to turn everyone's computer into an Xbox). MS haven't uprooted very much, actually; Bing, S&T and Windows are pretty much the same, except Windows now has a touch-friendly app thing that you can turn off in the free upcoming update. Not really what you're describing.

  13. David W4

    iPhone users & Gmail?

    Exchange sync is the best way to sync Gmail accounts (inc. contacts) with iPhones.

    One way to flog some more Android handsets, I guess...

  14. Jonathan 27

    Annoyed WP7er

    As one of those "idiots who bought a Windows Phone 7" this is the last straw. No Google services after December? Ok then, I'm going to buy an Android phone. Maybe an HTC One or Nexus 4. Microsoft has really screwed early adopters on this.

    Combined with the whole Xbox One and Windows 8 (No third party anything, no apps at all really) things I'm fed up with Microsoft. Sure, I'm a .NET developer but I'm sick and tired of their consumer devices teams screwing me over.

  15. stephajn

    "Just how long it will take for the update to reach all of Microsoft's Windows Phone customers worldwide is unclear, but December 31 certainly sounds doable."

    All of Microsoft's Windows Phone customers a few thousand then? I'd almost say that August 31 ought to be doable!

    1. Guz

      Bloddy carriers

      "All of Microsoft's Windows Phone customers a few thousand then? I'd almost say that August 31 ought to be doable!"

      It really isn't MSFT's fault for not meeting the original deadline. It's the carriers that screw things up. In the USA, users have to wait for the carriers to do their "testing" of any update before it gets rolled out to the devices.

      Personally, I think MSFT really should change the update process with their phones. Currently it's:

      MSFT --> Manufacturer --> Carrier --> Device

      What it SHOULD be, IMHO:

      MSFT (O/S updates) --> Device

      Manufacturer (Firmware) --> Device

      Carrier (Bloatware/Crapware) --> Device

      The above mimics the PC world, which most of us are used to.

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