(Disclaimer: I was a Microsoft employee for six years and love my Windows Phone)
If you have an Android Phone, and sync with your work email, keep an eye on updates from your IT department – you’re going to have to change some settings.
Until recently, all smart phones used a Microsoft protocol called “ActiveSync” that made it easy to keep email, appointments, contacts, and tasks all updated with mail servers. (In the link below, note that soon the only phones not to support EAS will be Android phones) Pretty much everyone supported it because it’s powerful and easy, and very easy on users. And they had to pay a licensing fee to Microsoft to use it.
Google Dropping ActiveSync
Google decided to drop support for ActiveSync, which means Android phones won’t work with Exchange (a large number of corporate email systems). Instead they’re going to use a bunch of different protocols – one for email, a fifteen year old piece of junk called calDAV, and some proprietary gmail extensions because these protocols don’t make it easy to push email. They are saying “it’s because Google supports open protocols” but the obvious reason is to hurt Microsoft, and who cares what happens to their users.
Microsoft is scrambling to get the protocols implemented on Exchange, but shame on them – when handling your email, they want to be sure they do it right, and they’re asking Google to extend the date when they drop ActiveSync. I don’t think Google has responded yet – this may be because nobody can figure out how to get an actual person at Google to talk to.
In the meantime, if you’re shopping for a new phone and plan to use it with your office email, iPhones and Windows Phones (and Blackberries) support Exchange. And if you want web mail that works really well with your iPhone or Windows Phone, check out Outlook.com, because Gmail hasn’t changed in six years and will be using a cobbled-together bunch of old technologies.
Have a nice day. [grin]