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We were very surprised to see Gmail announce last week that they'll soon end support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS), unless of course you're willing to pay Google for your email. It means that many people currently using Gmail for free are facing a situation where they might have to degrade their mobile email experience by downgrading to an older protocol that doesn't sync your calendar or contacts, doesn't give you direct push of new email messages and doesn't have all the benefits of Exchange ActiveSync.
So if you want a better email, especially on your phone or tablet, it's time to join the millions who have already made the choice to upgrade to Outlook.com.
To learn more about how to get started with Outlook.com, check out the technical spec for Exchange ActiveSync in Exchange 2013 just follow these simple steps:
To learn more about setting up Outlook.com on your mobile device, see our simple instructions here.
For those still on the fence, a quick introduction to why EAS is so important for a seamless experience across devices could be helpful. There are many protocols for sending and receiving email. POP and IMAP were designed decades ago, were considered state-of-the-art at the time, and are still used by millions of people. Both were created before mobile phones really even existed. To have a great email experience in 2012, a protocol needs to do more than just send and receive messages on a PC. It needs to work really well on a variety of mobile devices, to sync not only email but also your calendar and contacts, to do this automatically, and in a way that preserves battery life.
Exchange ActiveSync was first introduced in 2002 as a way to help you have a great mobile email experience. Since then, it has continued to improve, with a number of optimizations specifically for mobile devices, including tablets:
You can read more about these innovations and a whole host of other nitty-gritty details in the history of Exchange ActiveSync. It's because of these advanced consumer benefits that many devices choose to natively support Exchange ActiveSync-whether that's a Windows Phone, iPhone, iPad, or even a number of Android devices. You can see more detail in this chart of some of the other devices that support EAS.
We hope you have a wonderful winter holiday. As you enter the New Year, we encourage you to seize the opportunity to upgrade your mail to a service that puts the consumer first and gives you a great mobile email experience.
--Dharmesh Mehta, Senior Director, Product Management
There is a reason I was happy to get my blackberry 9790 back from the service center and I was enchanted all over again by it. Email? Multimedia? connectivity? except games everything else.. out of the box. Works.. plain perfect.. absolute.
But whenever I (and a GREAT many others, see the MS Community support forums) try to use Exchange Active Sync with my Hotmail account on Outlook 2013 it constantly causes an error to pop up saying:
"There are too many devices syncing with this account" Error Code 0x80004005 I Can't access account through email client.
The error experienced is as follows:
"There are too many devices syncing with this account"
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
To re-try press F9...
Error Code: 0x80004005"
The error pop up renders Outlook 2013 useless because once can not even use it because the pop up blocks the ability to interact with the software. I can't even get to my Exchange Server email and calendar which are also synced to Outlook because of this!
The MS people in the support forum keep suggesting to use POP3 which doesn't even syn contacts or calendar!
Exchange Active Sync and Outlook 2013 are not ready for prime time!
This blog post is very true that EAS is a much better protocol than anything else available today - and google suggesting to go back to IMAP is clearly a strategic/political decision, technically it's a joke.
However some people rightly complained that outlook.com is not a finished product and the tone used in this post suggesting otherwise will tend to alienate user more than anything else.
I'm using office 2010 on PC, and outlook - and have an iPad / nexus phone and one iPhone in my household. I was ready to switch all to outlook.com but contact management (can't sync pictures / custom field mappings), and custom domain support in live.com is clearly under expectations - and a deal breaker for me - google still is a more rounded product on quite a few areas.
Office 365 is an amazing offering, but for some reason Microsoft decided not to market it for end user, and not providing a price plan acceptable for families - I still would like to understand why.
So I'd really like Dharmesh to comment on the missing features raised by people in comments of this post, whether Microsoft is working on them and plan to fix them. A sort of road-map would be very nice and show users are listened to.
We're definitely reading the comments here and listening to customers in numerous places as well.
There are of course more features to come but we don't have anything specific to announce today. We do plan to use this blog to share more when we are ready to.
Thank you for the feedback and keep the comments coming
Jean-Philippe hit the nail on the head. With EAS, I want to sync the finer details of email, contacts, calendars... like contact pictures, custom fields, etc. If I can fire up icloud.com and there update everything about my contacts... and have that smoothly push out and sync to my iDevice.. I definitely want similar treatment from outlook.com and its EAS. I'm confident you guys are on the right path with these services and look forward to more updates!
I'm sorry I even tried to migrate to outlook.com from gmail. Apparently, outlook.com's "virtually unlimited" space is marketing speak for 5GB. This happens to be less than the 8GB of mail I had stored on my gmail account and is half the size of gmails 10.1GB limit (does that make google's offering "Double Virtually Unlimited"?).
After burning many GBs of broadband allowance downloading and reuploading emails via IMAP, I end up filling my virtually unlimited outlook.com and then the emails start bouncing... what a disaster. Rather than have to delete emails, I'm now going back to Gmail.
Outlook.com is promising, but it must definitely be usable in connection with Outlook 2011 for Mac. EAS is the only real solution, but even IMAP might do as a temporary workaround. Neither is supported today - and no, POP3 is definitely no solution, since most users want to access their mails from several devices nowadays.
Thanks, but until you improve the Contacts management switching from Gmail to Outlook.com is simply not feasible.
You miss basic features such as bulk operations, proper search (e.g. "get all the contacts with a phone number"). Importing contacts simply does a mess, they get mixed with already existing contacts.
When these basic thigns gets addressed, then I agree Outlook.com provides a valid alternative. I hope to see it enhanced soon since I am willing to experience full Microsoft products, with windows 8, windows phone and outlook.com/skydrive
I'm sorry, I have been using outlook.com for about 2 months, yet i'm not confinced I should continue using it
- I find it very dissappointing not being able to migrate my e-mail messages from ms outlook2007: there is no tool to do so ( however: there are tools to migrate from Live Mail, Outlook Express !!)
- There is almost no support available: questions entered in a Microsoft Community have a responsetime of 50days; I cannot find a proper 'help'facility on the internet.
- Googling for help is virtually impossible: outlook might well be Outlook 2003, outlook 2007, outlook 2010, Outlook Express, etc
- Screen-layout using Outlook.com differs very much from the screenlayout when using the W8-app: using the app I seem to be not able tot find and change all the settings that are presented when browsing to outlook.com. (again: finding help on the problem is difficult !)