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All posts tagged Gmail

Google does a Gandalf on Windows Phone

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

  1. I love you Gmail. I can live without a Nokia Lumia / HTC Windows Phone 8
  2. I just tried a Windows Phone 8. I have to have it… Goodbye Gmail. It’s not me, it’s you.

Ramifications…

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.

EU Competition

  • 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.

 

Outlook.com etc

  • 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?

New Gmail? Oh Ick!

Gmail recently implemented the rollout of a drastic change to the UX. I hear of more and more people who hate it with a passion.

Recently, several events have left me feeling less than pleased with Gmail / Google Apps but inertia amongst other things stopped me from migrating to another webmail. That and having to reprint my business cards.

The fact is that someone at Microsoft should be following what’s happening with Gmail and saying, “Hey guys this is an opportunity for us. Let’s do everything we can to increase our market share.”

Arghhh Gmail

Hotmail or Windows Live Mail has a huge uphill battle to regain all the lost ground but actually if you haven’t looked at it over the last year, you should.

Live Hotmail2 - Gmail

  1. Hate the Gmail new look and feel? Hotmail is well laid out, simple to understand. The UX is clean and there aren’t really any confusing icons with no name. Everything is text labeled and easily understood.
  2. Hotmail may not have all the neat Lab features but it has Sweep. Sweep allows adherents of the Zero Mailbox philosophy to manage their mailbox and keep it under control. In addition you can create folders and apply rules.
  3. Filters: the top bar contains some very cool predefined filters
  4. Performance and reliability as features: Hotmail and Live implemented a performance rollout earlier this year improving things by a factor of 10 according to the Live Team. As for reliability, I’m always being tweeted to ask if Gmail is down; I don’t see those problems as often for Hotmail.
  5. UX / UI as a feature: Hotmail is well designed and they haven’t done anything to make it difficult or unintuitive to find your way around. There is tight integration with Messenger, SkyDrive and Calendar. One look at Hotmail and you know this is Made in Redmond. Your comfort zone is maintained all the way.
  6. Incoming: rumors abound and seem to be confirmed of Sweep becoming a feature you can schedule to keep your mailbox clean and orderly.

Is it enough?

Simply selling Hotmail and Live on the basis of features and UX isn’t going to cut it.

  • Microsoft needs to engage in a world-shaking marketing campaign to redefine peoples perceptions and prejudices.
  • Microsoft you dumped blogging platforms and told your users to go to WordPress; meanwhile Google gave us Google+. Anyone who uses that is not going to leave Gmail anytime soon for another webmail. Get your heads back in the game. What are you doing at Redmond to answer G+? Is reliance on the investment you made into Facebook the MS answer here?
  • Make it mobile … Hotmail should be developed as the “go-to”, kick ass, world killing mobile mail for any mobile platform.

As important and Redmond if you are reading this here’s the killer change to your paradigm: –

  • Internet Explorer: If you want people to love Hotmail do this one thing (it’s big and radical but hey…) IE10 should be released as a platform agnostic browser. If you develop a robust, fast IE10 for Windows, MAC and Linux; for Windows Phone, iOS, Android and even Blackberry as part of your campaign to encourage Hotmail use and later play catch up on some of the features Gmail has that Hotmail doesn’t then many of the prejudices associated with Microsoft products will vanish into thin air.

IE10 - Build - Gmail

Okay Redmond so what are you going to do about it?

gmail - ick video