Microsoft's Windows Phone to add support for Google sync protocols

Microsoft's Windows Phone to add support for Google sync protocols

Summary: Windows Phone users are getting built-in support for Google's CalDAV and CardDAV syncing protocols some time before July 31.


Nothing like waiting until the eleventh hour. But on January 30, Google announced it will extend the deadline as to when it would cut off Microsoft users' access to Google Sync (built on Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync protocol).

Google announced in mid-December 2012 plans to drop Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support for syncing e-mail, contacts and calendar for non-paying Google customers starting January 30, 2013. But on January 30, as first reported by The Verge, Google has decided to continue to support Google Sync for Windows Phone until July 31, 2013.

Microsoft confirmed the news via a January 30 blog post on the Windows Phone blog:

"We’re happy to share today that Google will extend their support for new Windows Phone connections via Google Sync until July 31, 2013.

"At the same time, the Windows Phone team is building support into our software for the new sync protocols Google is using for calendar and contacts—CalDAV and CardDAV. These new protocols, combined with our existing support for the IMAP protocol for email, will enable Windows Phone users to continue to connect to Google services after July 31, 2013."

Google issued a statement today, as well. From a Google spokesperson:

“As announced last year, our plan is to end support for new device connections using Google Sync starting January 30, 2013. With the launch of CardDAV, it’s now possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols (IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV) for Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts. We'll start rolling out this change as planned across all platforms but will continue to support Google Sync for Windows Phone until July 31, 2013."

Though Microsoft isn't sharing details right now about how it will get the update with CardDAV and CalDAV support into Windows Phone users' hands, it seems safe to assume there will be an update for Windows Phone coming before July 31. Based on the tags at the bottom of Microsoft's post, it seems both Windows 7.x users and Windows Phone 8 users will get this update.

Update: It looks like the Windows team is not going to be adding CardDAV or CalDAV support for users who are trying to connect to a Google account via Mail/Calendar/People after January 30, based on a blog post today. Here's Microsoft's guidance as to how these users can sync their Google accounts with Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Topics: Windows Phone, Google, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Microsoft's Windows Phone to add support for Google sync protocols

    If you have Microsoft Windows Phone the best thing to do is just transfer your contacts and calendar over to and not have to worry about Google pulling any more stunts like this. You will be done with Google forever.
    • Re: If you have Windows Phone

      The best thing is to find a die hard Microsoft fan and sell them the thing.

      As the update to the article indicates, Microsoft has no plans to support any open protocols.
      Their "support" for IMAP is still mediocre.
      • Hmm

        These ads always seem to follow you...

        That was a pretty funny shot about Windows Phone though.
  • Google did two things good this week

    I definitely appreciate them, even though I hate to use their services (disclaimer)
    1. Publishing maps of N. Korea
    2. extending support for Windows Phone until July 31, 2013 for the G Services.

    I appreciate Microsoft for two things this week, and I use their services a lot in addition to competing products of Microsoft (disclaimer)
    1. Supporting Git with VS 2012 and TFS environments
    2. Agreeing to work with CalDAV and CardDAV protocols.
    These two shows Microsoft is open to work with open protocols and rival products.

    I wanted to say this before Good Old Linux Geek (not so open) spouts from his rear-end.
    Ram U
  • Google lost its credibility with silly stunts

    I knew the writings on the wall when they first announced Android in 2007/2008 while that clown Schmidt was still sitting in Apple Board. I dumped everything Google in 2008 being very well aware of its privacy violations.

    I strongly advice all to migrate Google services to competing platforms. After all who wants to use software from an advertising company.


    1. Gmail to Outlook
    2. GDrive to SkyDrive
    3. Search and maps to Bing search and maps. Bing is better in countries where they have full coverage.
    4. Google apps is a joke, switch to Office 365.

    • Your black and white thinking...

      Your black and white thinking has led to you losing all credibility with me. Not that anyone cares, just like they don't care about google losing credibility with you.
      • Nice try.

        It's not "black and white" thinking. It's just that you are a Google zealot. Sucks to be you right now.
    • I can only agree

      Microsoft products are amazing.
      • RE: I can only agree

        ...yeah, I'm just loving my Zune.
        Marc Ello
        • Glad to hear it...

          Although not a great seller, was hands down a better mp3 player than ipods at the time.
        • Does it have more memory...

          than a surface pro?!
  • Hmmm

    It is handy to sync my calendar entries between my Microsoft WP7 phone and Apple iPad using Google. But I can understand why Google would be upset with this arrangement as I'm not viewing their ads with this setup.
  • @Mary Jo Foley I am confused...

    I was confused about the update part of your article. It seems the update just contradicted the entire article itself...what am I not getting?
    • Windows 8 vs. Windows Phone 8

      Only the latter is getting patched.
      x I'm tc
    • winphone vs. windows

      The windows phone is adding support for google protocols. The windows team is not. That is the distinction
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Good for both companies

    Customers first. Easy decision for both. MS doesn't want people to pass on them because they can't use their Gmail and Google doesn't want to lose customers to
  • It seems

    Apparently, some amount of money changed hands, so that Windows Phone users could have six more months to be convinced to move to and "pure" Microsoft services.

    Knowing history, those six months will just pass and nothing will happen. Die hard Microsoft fans have already converted.

    Google are not stupid.
  • Microsoft Guidance link doesn't say about syncing calendars?

    It mentions e-mail (IMAP) and Contacts (add them to your Microsoft account) but nothing about Calendars?

    Why on earth aren't Microsoft supporting CalDAV and CardDAV in Windows 8 too?

    I don't use the Windows 8 Start Screen Mail App (I use Outlook 2010), am not bothered if People loses my Gmail contacts (I rarely open it anyway) BUT do like that my Gmail Calendar stuff appears on my Windows 8 Lock Screen :-|

    I rarely open the Windows 8 Start Screen Calendar App either (Outlook 2010 again), which I understand will be fine for now BUT if I ever need to re-install Windows, it won't work :-|
  • If you cannot use Google Calendar using EAS you can add a read only feed

    The Guidance above only mentions e-mail and contacts, not how to display your Google Calendar on Windows 8/RT. You can add a read only Google Calendar feed as a workaround and update it on Google Calendar itself still:

    1. Open Google Calendar
    2. Go to Settings and copy/paste the Private ICAL feed link
    3. Open Hotmail/ and open your Calendar
    4. Click Subscribe and choose "Subscribe to a public calendar"
    5. Paste in the Google Calendar Private ICAL feed link
    6. Click "Subscribe to Calendar"

    This will then appear in the Windows 8 Calendar within minutes, as said it is read only so you cannot change it using Windows 8 Calendar but at least it displays as it did before.

    Personally I update my Google Calendar in Outlook (using gSyncit) so only need a read only feed in Windows 8 Calendar anyway.

    This is perfect if I ever lose connection to my Google Calendar using Google Sync EAS.
  • This impacts Outlook and Office 2013 as well

    The IMAP support in the preview release of Office 2013 was deficient but broadly it affects all Office users who want to connect Google Apps. IMAP doesn't sync contacts and calendar, so as it stands now if you can't use EAS on your premium GApps account you can't sync with Google. As for Office 2013, I did not upgrade because Google Sync will not install into it and Outlook was essentially bricked with the broken IMAP... and not that it would work for me without calendar and contacts sync.

    The whole issue is borked, why can't these companies just get along for the sake of what works for mutual and respective customer bases?
    Jeff Nolan