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Google revives open standard Calendar support: Your move, Microsoft

Brad Chacos | June 7, 2013
Due to developer demand, Google has decided to keep its CalDAV API open and throws open the doors for its CardDAV API to all comers for the first time ever

In December, Google announced that it was turning off its Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) support for all free users as of January 30.

Since Windows Phone's support for Gmail and Google Calendar revolved around EAS, Microsoft was forced to scramble to support CalDAV and CardDav in its mobile operating system, which will be in place this summer.

Google agreed to maintain Google Sync, its EAS implementation, until July 31, making the call mere hours before the January 30 deadline hit.

Meanwhile, Microsoft cut Google Calendar EAS access for its native Windows 8 Calendar app completely earlier this year, for free and premium Google Apps users alike. Outlook also doesn't any longer support Google services natively.

"[Google's ongoing CalDAV support] is just another chess move in the game here," says Moorhead. "Will Microsoft adopt CalDAV and CardDAV for Office and It's your move."

When I asked if Google's stay of the CalDAV execution might prompt Microsoft to reintroduce Google Calendar support in Windows 8, Microsoft representatives said they had nothing to announce and pointed me toward this workaround help page about how to sync Google services in Windows RT--or not, in the case of Google Calendar.

That's not good enough for Moorhead.

"The alternative for me, and for small businesses like mine, is to buy a Mac," he says. "Macs actually have pretty decent CalDAV and CardDAV support... I'm not going to change my mail service over to be able to use Microsoft's tools."

Redemption song
It may be Microsoft's move, but don't look for it to make any sweeping CalDAV implementations any time soon, outside of the previously scheduled Windows Phone support.

Fortunately, Google's decision to keep its open standard API around isn't all about Goliath vs. Goliath. Ongoing CalDAV and CardDav support will mean a lot to smaller app developers who weren't on the Google whitelist previously.

It also tosses a bone to open-standard enthusiasts in a tizzy over Google's decision to dump support for the open XMPP communications protocol in favor of a proprietary solution for its new Hangouts service--a move announced the very same day that Google co-founder Larry Page proudly proclaimed his company's ongoing investment in open web standards.


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