Windows 8 gets its first major round of application-security updates — including an update that seems to pit Microsoft against Google.
Plus: More problems with Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 keep this update on the wait list.
MS drops EAS support, ends Google Cal synching
It seems like Google and Microsoft usually duke out their differences in a courtroom. But in this case, they’re fighting over Windows 8′s Modern Mail application. (Apparently, Microsoft now uses “Modern” in place of “Metro.”) As reported in a March 25 The Verge blog, the Mail (actually, Mail/Calendar/People) update removes support for synching with Google Calendar. Microsoft eliminated support for Google’s implementation of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS).
Google stopped supporting the protocol in January but allowed consumers already using Google Sync to continue doing so. (Google Sync is still supported for paid business, education, and government accounts.) As of Jan. 30, Google Calendar/MS Calendar synching was no longer an option for individuals setting up new Gmail accounts — and now for anyone who updates Win8 Mail.
Using the IMAP protocol, Windows 8 users should still be able to synch their contacts, as detailed in a Windows Support article.
One point of possible confusion: Updates for Win8 apps come through the Windows Store — not through Windows Update. Click the Store tile, then click the Updates link in the upper-right corner of the Store home page. That takes you to the App updates window. Among other updates, you’ll see a single update for Mail, Calendar, People, and Me (see Figure 1).
Bottom line: Users of Win8 Calendar and Google Calendar are caught in a classic Catch-22: Sticking with the older version of Modern Mail to maintain Google Calendar synchronization could leave you open to spoofing attacks, as noted in MS support article 2832006. On the other hand, update Mail, and you’re stuck with one calendar app (or manually maintaining two calendar apps — at least for now).