Microsoft has officially responded to Google’s late 2012 announcement that it plans to drop support for the Exchange ActiveSync protocol, meaning setting up non-Android smartphones to sync with Google’s services will become more difficult.
The firm this week officially commented on Google’s decision, which could very easily sabotage any potential new business for its mobile division. In a statement to the Verge, Microsoft said it was "surprised and disappointed” by Google’s move.
"Like many, we are surprised and disappointed that Google wants to make it more difficult for customers to connect their accounts to their devices. If you want better email, especially for your phone or tablet, now is a perfect time to join the millions who have already made the choice to upgrade to Outlook.com. Windows Phone users will still be able to sync their Google email via IMAP,” the full statement read.
As of 30 January 2013, Google will no longer offer sync support for new consumer Gmail connections, meaning Apple’s iPhone mail client and other non-Android devices may face a more difficult time connecting to Gmail calendars and contacts. Prospective Windows Phone users may bear the brunt of the fallout, however, as Microsoft does not appear to be ready to adopt the alternative CarDAV protocol.
However, consumers already using Micosoft's ActiveSync, as well as new and existing business customers, will be able to continue using the service.
It’s unclear whether Google’s decision was driven by a desire to pay fewer license fees to Microsoft or whether it was designed to give the giant a leg up in the ecosystem war, but the roughly half a billion people who reply on its apps and services may end up feeling the fallout.