Google’s Official Blog called it Winter Cleaning…
Goodbye Google Sync service for Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync.
The Google Sync news In a nutshell:
- Google Sync is gone replaced by CardDAV
- Consumers ability to sync from their Gmail, GCal, Contacts to their new Windows Phone 8 is gone
- Existing Google Sync connections will remain active: I’m skeptical but waiting to test this claim.
- This does not affect Google Apps for Business, Government and Education: No surprise you don’t upset the paying customers.
What Does This Mean To The Average Consumer?
If you are buying a Smartphone and you are tied to your Google Services then Windows Phone might not be for you… Pending Microsoft’s response.
This leaves us with a “there are two kinds of people” paradigm
- I love you Gmail. I can live without a Nokia Lumia / HTC Windows Phone 8
- I just tried a Windows Phone 8. I have to have it… Goodbye Gmail. It’s not me, it’s you.
There is the distinct possibility that on several levels Google just stepped in a massive pile of sync.
- Once again Google may have unwittingly opened themselves up for the litigious and aggressive EU Antitrust Commission to go after them over this like a pack of hyenas after fresh kill on the Savanna.
- Google has relied too heavily on consumers not being willing to migrate from Gmail to Outlook.com and let’s face it, right now there are no official Apps for Windows Phone for Google Drive or Google+. Combine this with the remarkably good UX in Outlook.com, Skydrive, Microsoft’s Calendar and People (contacts) and you have a convincing argument for making the jump.
- This from the company that just shut down the free version of Google Apps and subsequently had a Sync bug so catastrophic that Gmail users once again suffered severe outages this time compounded by crashed Chrome browsers worldwide. The Google Mailman may not just be reading your mail, he seems to be kicking you in the shins again and again.
With thanks to Microsoft’s YouTube Channel for the video above.
- Nothing shows fear like trying to stop your users from running your services on the competition’s platform.
What Are Microsoft’s Alternatives?…
TheNextWeb put it best in today’s post on the issue,
“Microsoft has two options. It could decide to disregard calendar and contacts sync for Gmail users on Windows Phone 8. […] Alternatively, Microsoft could provide CalDAV and CardDAV support to sync calendar and contacts, but this will have to be in the form of a patch for Windows Phone 8.”
Are the OEMs manufacturing Windows Phone going to need newly patched OS installs, or is this patch going to have to be installed to every new device once they are bought and switched on? Either way with just over a month until Google Sync is replaced Microsoft will have to move fast.
Redmond could also decide to take a two pronged assault on this problem
by releasing a new app to easily migrate from Google services to Microsoft but also by rewarding customer loyalty with an increase in Skydrive storage space for those who dump Google over this. Since publishing this I stumbled over this post from the Outlook.com official blog “Upgrade from Gmail to Outlook.com in 5 Easy Steps” in addition to killing my next post very nicely it explains there is an App from Microsoft called TrueSwitch that does the migration for you!
I’m not sure why I’m only learning about this now. Hopefully Microsoft will at least bundle information on this with every new Windows Phone!
The Bigger Picture…
This is one more example designed to make the consumer wary of freemium services and Apps. Today the terms of service may support you but tomorrow all that could change under you. Just ask Instagram users. So whether you are considering a new Windows Phone or not, do you think Google Just Stepped In a Big Pile of Sync?