Microsoft has a proprietary technology called Exchange Active Sync that they use for making sure your emails, contacts, and calendar entries are syned up across all your devices. Microsoft, being a company who wants to make money, charges other companies to use EAS. The open source community, who hates Microsoft almost as much as they hate paying for things, came up with some free standards that do the exact same thing as EAS. Android uses these standards, which are known as IMAP, CalDAV, and CardDAV.
Google, who is also a company that wants to make sure they make some money, decided they should stop paying Microsoft for the EAS standard. But here’s where things get complicated. Microsoft’s mobile operating system, Windows Phone, doesn’t support the free and open standards mentioned above.
Google turning off EAS support would mean Windows Phone owners who also happen to use Google’s services wouldn’t be able to get their content synced up.
In order to avoid pissing off the six or seven people who own a Windows Phone, Google and Microsoft decided to sit down at a table and settle their differences. Google will extend their contract with Microsoft for EAS until July 31st, and Microsoft will issue a software update that adds support for the standards that Google uses.
We’re happy to see big companies playing nicely for a change. It’s incredibly refreshing.