GMail and ActiveSync - it's complicated

by Volker Weber

Now that Microsoft updates their calendar in Windows 8 and RT, everybody (but Ed Bott) gets the story wrong. That's what happens when you copy from The Verge.

Google stopped admitting new devices to ActiveSync January 30th. With one exception: Microsoft and Google negotiated a six months extension for Windows Phone, and Windows Phone only. You cannot add Windows 8 or Windows RT devices to your list of ActiveSync devices. Whatever is on the list, continues to work.

Up until today's update, Windows 8 and RT would ask you, when creating a new account for GMail, if you wanted to sync Mail or Mail/Contacts/Calendar. If you selected Mail, it would create an IMAP account. If you selected Mail/Contacts/Calendars, it would create an ActiveSync account. And then, since January 30, fail with a "cannot connect to server" error.

This changes now. It will just create an IMAP account without asking.


And Google Calendar API != CalDAV API
Currently, Windows 8 supports neither of them, but support for Google Calendar API is in the works, right?
MS definitely needs someone to write comprehensible press releases! I mean, if even the tech bloggers don't get it, how should any potential WP8/WinRT/Win8 customer get it??

Philipp Münzel, 2013-03-26

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