Google drops Gmail Outlook sync support, Microsoft "surprised"

By on December 18, 2012, 3:30 PM

After some Winter cleaning, Google announced the immediate discontinuation of Google Sync and Google Calendar Sync. These applications were designed to synchronize Gmail accounts with Outlook, various devices and other software via Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol.

Popular alternatives to Exchange ActiveSync, like IMAP and POP, give users access to email but do not provide the same rich synchronicity that EAS affords. The technology also allows users and devices to syncs contacts, notes and calendars under a single protocol.

In addition to removing its EAS connector utilities, Google will be restricting EAS access exclusively to paid Google Apps accounts -- if you want to connect via the Exchange protocol, you'll need to pay up for a premium account. This means Google Apps business, education and government customers will be unaffected by this change -- an area where exchange support remains vital. The changes only apply to personal Gmail accounts and free Google Apps accounts. 

Incidentally, this news follows Google's evisceration of the freebie version of Google Apps, also announced earlier this month. 

The search giant says it's dropping EAS in favor of open protocols, namely CardDAV (contacts sync) and CalDAV (calendar sync). Since these protocols are independent of popular e-mail protocols (IMAP, POP), Google suggests Gmailers interested in keeping their contact and calendars synchronized will need to turn to third-party solutions which support those technologies.

While it is no surprise Outlook users will be affected, any Gmail users who employ EAS to sync their smartphones, tablets or rely on third-party services or software which utilize EAS will also feel the effects.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Microsoft has taken this opportunity to push its Outlook web-based email service (formerly known as Hotmail) which, of course, supports Exchange ActiveSync. Microsoft claims it was "very surprised" by Google's maneuver and took its blog swinging, touting the supposed advantages of EAS over IMAP and POP. "Really want to do some winter cleaning? Switch to Outlook.com for the best email experience across all your devices" the post says.




User Comments: 34

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Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not sure this was the smartest move on Google's part... Going to leave many users in the lurch, which will tend to tick them off and open the door wide for Microsoft to push their solutions. You can bed this will be some serious marketing fodder for Microsoft for the next little while.

freythman freythman said:

I'm with you, Vrmithrax. This is a huge step backwards for Google.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Bizarre... can't understand this one...

Chazz said:

Google just hates Microsoft, they're doing this as an attack on windows phone. Gmail will be broken on that now.

I never expected Google to behave this way. I love Gmail because it was the best email service out there. But, I never knew Google would throw their customers under the bus to pursue their arrogant desires.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Just so I'm sure, this is Gmail not supporting Outlook right? I'm ok with that, I don't use Gmail to consolidate Outlook mail into one web interface.

I was afraid that it was Android phones also not supporting Outlook/Activesync - which would be a huge mistake.

Chazz said:

This is Gmail not supporting active sync.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Just so I'm sure, this is Gmail not supporting Outlook right?

That's incorrect -- Google is dropping support for Exchange ActiveSync entirely, sans paid business, education and government Google Apps accounts.

I understand why that wasn't clear though, so I have updated the wording. Hopefully, that point comes across more clearly for others, now.

Guest said:

I was already looking at a Windows 8 phone, this is just another reason to get me there quicker. Thanks for the info.

windmill007 said:

Google +, forcing chrome with flash updates, screwing up Picasa web pictures and now this. I'm really thinking google is on a downward spiral. They want to be top at everything and not get along with anyone. If it wasn't for gmail and google search I wouldn't be doing any business with google anymore. Sad. I use to really like there company but seems they want to destroy it.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Couldn't care less, as I am not 'dependent' on Google for any service. Although the motive behind it seems 'sinister' in nature, whereby, forcing users to choose one service over another, whether they like it or not.

Guest said:

Wow now that is a backwards step!!!! Been with Gmail for as long as I can remember and using there activesync/exchange sync to get my email pushed to me on my iPhone/Mac/Windows devices.

Gutted!

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

First you could get 50 free user accounts on Google Apps. Then it was 10. Now it's 1 and no Google Sync. I think Google is making a mistake and will push new users to look elsewhere.

Guest said:

This is great news..

Now, there is no reason to use Google, Gmail, or Android. Win8 ftw..

Guest said:

This might be just the push I need to switch to Outlook.com I can continue to use my gmail through Outlook.com. Only issue is Outlook.com has no integration with G+ that I can see.

1 person liked this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Google has also made real SSL certificates a requirement by requiring "strict SSL" on 12/12

This was done without as much as any advance notice AFAIK. Not a very good thing considering the planning time required to purchase and implement valid SSL certificates on large websites...

[link]

Chazz said:

Google has also made real SSL certificates a requirement by requiring "strict SSL" on 12/12

This was done without as much as any advance notice AFAIK. Not a very good thing considering the planning time required to purchase and implement valid SSL certificates on large websites...

[link]

Wow, I didn't know this. My company, up until recently, used a self signed cert. I changed this last month for a few reasons, none of which were Gmail. Fetching Gmail is not a valid reason IMO. This isn't really feasible for a lot of small businesses. SSL certs aren't exactly cheap. I'm not understanding Google's motivation for these changes.

Trechie said:

This is a Google vs. Microsoft thing. Quotation from another article:

"However, there is more to this than meets the eye and extends beyond this single issue to the wider battle between Microsoft and Google.

Because iOS supports IMAP, CalDav, and CardDav, it means users who use Gmail on iPad and iPhone will be able to sync their data with little difficulty.

However, Microsoft's Windows Phone doesn?t support them meaning those that those who use Gmail on Windows Phone won?t be able to sync. How Outlook.com users will deal with that is not clear yet."

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Reason for Apple's CalDav+CardDav implementation is Apple is reliant on Google for search (and Map services in the past), hence, they may not have much choice (my calculated guess). However, Microsoft offers these services as well, and doesn't need Google for them. So its all about competing with each other, not collaborating. On a side note, outlook is whole lot easier to work with compared to gmail anyway, so I don't see anyone who already have an outlook mail account bothered with this.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Google has also made real SSL certificates a requirement by requiring "strict SSL" on 12/12

This was done without as much as any advance notice AFAIK. Not a very good thing considering the planning time required to purchase and implement valid SSL certificates on large websites...

[link]

Without advance notice I don't agree with but it is about time someone actually took security seriously. It would be nice for modern DNS protocols, ipv6 and TLS 1.2 to hit mainstream.

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

These HOLY wars 'twix the big name players is childish. Along this same line is Apple recanting on Google Maps running on the iPhone 5 (technical issue uncovered due to infighting). Sullied the image of both companies IMO.

For anyone that has migrated from one email service to another, things like Syncing Contacts was a chore. The worst case I've seen was moving off Verizon - - there is no way to capture or download the contacts at all.

The lesson to be learned is to EXPORT your email contacts periodically; formats like VCF and CSV are most common and there are tools for converting one to the other.

Remember: If it's not on YOUR PC, then you don't own it

complexxL9 complexxL9 said:

Ok first google apps, now this - best time to move to outlook.com.

I think I will be migrating my personal mail just because I don't like the way this is going.

meckennedy meckennedy said:

Since Google has ended Sync, I can't even open Outlook. It's on my personal computer. Now what? Are my only options Gmail or Outlook.com?

1 person liked this | Red Rock Red Rock said:

Agree that this sucks.

But moving forward, I depend on syncing between Oulook contacts and calendar, and gmail that runs on my Android phone. Very, very important to have this. What to do now?

Non-technologist here, so mea culpa. Advice welcomed.

Thanks!

sami_iskandrani sami_iskandrani said:

Agree that this sucks.

But moving forward, I depend on syncing between Oulook contacts and calendar, and gmail that runs on my Android phone. Very, very important to have this. What to do now?

Non-technologist here, so mea culpa. Advice welcomed.

Thanks!

I am the same too!

Anyone has a solution please share it with us. How to sync Outlook and Google contacts and Calendar.

Thanks

Guest said:

I was thinking to buy a new android phone, with this news I think it is necessary to change my mind. I don't feel respected as a client in this struggle between 2 giants.

Google as a creative enterprise should re-evaluate its strategy.

It is not for/against Google, it is definitely against playing with us as toys for their strategy and leaving the way of openness for Ego-corporate magnificience.

Guest said:

Unf***ingbelievable.

I've been using Outlook + Google calendar for quite a few years, and now I just can't do it because I've reinstalled my system. And not even a word of notification from Google.

gmail is of no use for me anymore - there is no chance I'm gonna stop using Outlook.

Microsoft Banzai, Google must die

XDXD

Ying Dai Ying Dai said:

Yesterday, I exported my mails from Outlook as a single .pst file and was going to import them to Gmail using outlookmigration. I have done this before without any problems. But this time I got a message: Email Migration API Not Enabled. Google even did not update its help page. Some page still says Email Migration API is on by default for free google account!

I guess this is because Google hate Microsoft who charges EAS patent fee for Android devices.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

MS charges them on 'FRAND' basis (considering there are multiple patents involved); so the amount isn't too exaggerated compared to what Google tried to do with Motorola patents and lost, I'd say things between these two aren't what they might once have been.

Guest said:

Pretty ticked off with google turning off outlook sync and especially with removing free google domain hosting. they were the best game in town and the integration with google mail & calendar was incredibly useful. google's turning its back on customers and I'll remember this.

Guest said:

After using Gmail for over a decade, I never thought I'd have to have a new email address again. I never thought I'd ever think of Microsoft as an alternative. Yet here I am - Outlook is a requirement at work, I can't sync, I double book myself - Frustrating, frustrating, frustrating. What a terrible move. Oh Google, I guess this is goodbye. :'(

TommyWillB TommyWillB said:

Google has also made real SSL certificates a requirement by requiring "strict SSL" on 12/12

This was done without as much as any advance notice AFAIK. Not a very good thing considering the planning time required to purchase and implement valid SSL certificates on large websites...

[link]

Dude, they've been talking about this for YEARS!!!

[link]

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

@TommyWillB Uhh yea, supporting HTTPS for webmail access vs requiring SSL for accessing external mail servers via known trusted certificates vs self-signed certificates is quite the difference

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Pretty ticked off with google turning off outlook sync and especially with removing free google domain hosting. they were the best game in town and the integration with google mail & calendar was incredibly useful. google's turning its back on customers and I'll remember this.
Here's the thing. If you're not paying for something, you're technically not a "customer". At least not in the commonly accepted usage of the term.

What Google did here, is foist off all its freeloaders onto Microsoft. Which is really rude, and yet at once, really shrew.

The kicker here is the 50 free accounts down to one. This is behavior that rivals your average heroine dealer's business model. Smack is free until you're hooked, then you start signing over your food stamps and social security check.

I really have little time for Google, its antics,or its pursuit of world domination, and have every intention of folding their business model back at them. If a Google service isn't free, then I won't use it. And in spite of the fact that Google Chrome IS free, I wouldn't touch that with YOUR ten foot pole.

Guest said:

Incidentally, this is the last straw for me, but with Windows. Google's decision comes in the light of supporting open-source protocols, such as CardDAV and CalDAV. Hello Android, good-bye Windows.

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