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Google's latest 'cleaning' could leave Windows Phone users without email

tech-reviews Updated: Dec 18, 2012 15:01 IST

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Google's annual cleaning has claimed a number of features and services including Google Calendar Sync, Punchd and Google Sync for Nokia, which should have little impact on the vast majority of the world's internet -- and therefore Google -- users. However, the company's decision to stop offering Google Sync could be a real problem for Windows Phone owners with a Gmail account.

Google Sync or Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) protocol is what pushes mail to mobile platforms; therefore if a smartphone's built-in email client is set up for a Gmail account, unless it is an Android handset, it will no longer be able to receive mail. This won't be a problem for iPhone users because of the recently released dedicated Gmail app for owners of the Apple device. However, as the product management director at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said in a recent interview with V3: "We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8...If that changes, we would invest there, of course."

This means that owners of Microsoft's latest smartphones and early adopters of the company's newest PC operating system will not be getting dedicated Gmail, Google Drive, Google Translate or even Google Maps apps in the short term, at least. It also means that, as Google is planning to drop its services at the end of January 2013, Microsoft doesn't have much time to find a solution.

The Next Web, the blog that first drew attention to this situation and explains the loss of each feature in more detail, is suggesting that Google's decision is purely designed to negatively impact Microsoft's handset sales as it is not dropping the features for its enterprise or education users, only for consumers.