For Windows Phone users, the news out of Google today couldn't be much worse.
The company announced it's removing support for Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol for new devices from 30th January 2013. Google Apps for business accounts will be unaffected and existing devices that are setup to sync mail, calendar, and contacts will work fine, but new devices will not be able to use the Exchange ActiveSync protocol with Gmail
. It's a big blow to Windows Phone and part of a bigger feud between the companies over the past few months.
For iOS, Google's email solution is IMAP support and a dedicated Gmail app, CalDAV for calendar, and CardDAV for contacts. Apple and Google both support CalDAV and CardDAV natively, but Microsoft has chosen not to support either standard in Windows Phone 8… yet. This leaves Windows Phone users in a tricky position: at present, they’re offered two choices to set up a Google account. You can pick between email only or a combination of email, calendar, and contacts. The email-only option will set up an IMAP connection to Gmail which won't support push — it’ll sync every 15 minutes at best. The second option with calendar and contacts lets Windows Phone 8 users setup a Gmail connection using Exchange ActiveSync, with push email, calendars, and contacts. This solution will cease working from January 30th for new devices, leaving Microsoft little over a month to provide an acceptable alternative for end users.
Google is not providing a Gmail app for Windows Phone users, and the company recently revealed it has "no plans to build out Windows apps" beyond a search app available on Windows 8 and Windows Phone. (Source