These days it seems as though all news about Microsoft involves Google in one way or another. Over the past few weeks, Microsoft and Google have been engaged in a lawsuit, a mudslinging contest on Twitter and a probable war in the search market. The latest in the developments has been Google’s decision to remove Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) from the users who have downloaded free versions of Gmail and Google Calendar.
The impact of Google’s decision would fall the most on users of Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 users as they won’t be able to use the two services which are widely used by people across the world. Instead, Microsoft has gone ahead in support of its users and has asked them to try Outlook as an alternative to Gmail. Outlook has been a standard offering of the Microsoft Office Suite for several yet has been seen as a solution exclusive to enterprise users.
In addition, Microsoft is also going to provide Office 365 accounts to users as a substitute for Google Calendar. Both applications are tried and tested and users don’t need to make significant changes to their email habits to learn to use them. Nearly all users already have Outlook already. Those who don’t can get it for free from Microsoft’s website. Office 365 is also ready for use and will be integrated into Microsoft Office 2013 in the near future.
The bone of contention regarding Google’s decision is that Gmail and Google Calendar apps would not work on Microsoft made devices without EAS. On the other hand, Google is more than happy to let iOS users keep using the services free of cost. Of course, Google will also the services intact for its own Android users. Hence, it can be seen as another step taken by Google to target people using Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 devices.
Not only did Google make this announcement out of the blue, they haven’t given users much time to make suitable changes or upgrades to their devices. According to the official statement which came from Google, they will pull back EAS support as soon as 30th January next year. It is just over a month away and Microsoft doesn’t have sufficient time to come up with a more worthwhile solution for the customers.
This is why the company has gone about advocating the use of their Office 365 and Outlook applications as viable alternatives to Google Calendar and Gmail respectively. It remains to be seen whether the users actually decide to make the transition or change their devices altogether. Some people like to maintain one email account and are not willing to change it regardless of the circumstances. Hence, Microsoft might have a little convincing to do.
There is no question that Google has taken a drastic decision keeping in view the recent events regarding its rivalry with Microsoft. The competition has reached unimaginable levels but the past few months have shown the two companies will go to any extent to gain an edge over the other.