In something of a close call for Windows Phone users who rely on Gmail for their email, contacts, and calendar, Microsoft announced yesterday that Google has extended its Exchange ActiveSync support for Gmail users until July 31, 2013. It was originally set to terminate today.
In the meantime, Microsoft will finish its work on developing support for Google’s new CalDAV and CardDAV systems, the new protocols necessary for connecting to Google Calendar and Contacts services. The six month extension of EAS gives Microsoft time to finish this work.
After that, no new users will be able to use EAS to connect to Google services. This applies to not just Windows Phone users, but also to iPhone users and others. New users will instead have connect to Google services using IMAP and the CalDAV and CardDAV systems.
Though iOS users are also affected by this, Windows Phone users face a bigger dilemma in that they would have had no alternative to accessing their Gmail accounts until the CalDAV and CardDAV support is added by Microsoft. In all likelihood, a Windows Phone update will roll out prior to the EAS cutoff to bring the new features.
The cutoff applies to new users only. Microsoft will continue to allow those already using Exchange ActiveSync to do so. At least for the time being.