Google recently announced that it is pulling back support for Exchange ActiveSync from Windows 8 and Windows 8 Phone devices. This means that Windows users who had been using Google’s services like Google Calendar and Gmail for free won’t be able to do so from now on. As of now, Google has announced a tentative date of 30th January 2013 as the deadline for implementing the new service changes. The surprising thing is that Google hadn’t given any indication they were going to do this.
Microsoft Caught By Surprise
Evidently, the major impact of this decision is on the users who are using Microsoft devices. They would not be able to use Google’s services for free anymore. However, Microsoft has stated that Google’s decision came like a bolt from the blue and they weren’t expecting anything as drastic. Even Google has not clarified its position regarding why the decision has been taken in the first place. Till then, Microsoft would suspect it has been an unfair attack on its users.
No Support for Google Accounts
The Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) is a protocol built into Windows’ devices which allows the users to sync the Google based apps on the devices with their Google accounts. Among the foremost services which people use includes Gmail, the email based application, and Google Calendar. Microsoft has stated that it would encourage users to switch from the Google apps to their own programs like Outlook and Office 365.
Pay for Usage
However, this doesn’t at all mean that people cannot use Google’s services on Windows 8 devices from now on. The only difference is that the free apps would be unavailable. Users can continue using the services by paying for them. Google hasn’t dropped the support for the protocol Google Sync which would allow the users to purchase and use the applications. They would have to buy the Google Apps through a Government, education or business account.
How Windows 8 Will Be Affected
Though Microsoft would never admit it, the ability to use Google’s apps on Windows 8 devices is one of the reasons they are selling quite well. Google’s decision means that people would no longer have the luxury of using the apps for free like the iOS and Android users. Hence, they have an option to switch devices and buy from Apple or Samsung. From a purely commercial standpoint, it does seem as though Google has taken this step to affect Microsoft’s bottom line.
Still, it is quite possible that Microsoft may be able to convince most users to keep using their current devices. Yet, one should not forget that there are several users who rely heavily on Google as far as email and planning is concerned. They wouldn’t be able to follow their daily schedule and routine without the apps being available on Windows 8. Instead of paying for them, they can buy a new device which runs on a different OS and enables them to use all Google Apps free of cost.