Google extends Windows Phone sync protocols support to Dec. 31

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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) will continue to support Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Exchange ActiveSync protocol through the end of 2013, enabling all Windows Phone users to access the full range of Gmail messaging and scheduling services on their smartphones.

"We've reached an agreement with Google to extend support for new Windows Phone connections to the Google Sync service through December 31, 2013," Microsoft said in a statement to The Verge.

Late last year, Google announced plans to terminate Exchange ActiveSync access at the end of January, giving Microsoft roughly 45 days to implement support for its CardDAV and CalDAV calendar and contact syncing protocols. Google later extended the cutoff deadline to July 31: Had the company not relented, Windows Phone device owners would have been left with only IMAP email support for Gmail, rendering calendar and contact sync options non-functional.

Microsoft incorporated CardDAV and CalDAV support into its Windows Phone 8 General Distribution Release 2, which began rolling out last month, but the update has not yet reached all handsets. Google's latest extension gives Microsoft five additional months to ensure that most if not all Windows Phone devices are capable of full Google services support.

Windows Phone 8 GDR2 is otherwise a relatively minor update, highlighted by the restoration of FM radio support--a longtime Windows Phone OS feature dropped with the late 2012 launch of WP8--as well as Xbox Music improvements to provide more accurate metadata. GDR2 also touts a Data Sense app tracking service and stability improvements to services like Internet Explorer and Skype.

For more:
- read this Verge article

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