The Verge and other tech sites have been talking about the problems created for Microsoft Windows Phone by Google’s decision to discontinue support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). EAS currently lets Windows Phone and other devices sync email, contacts, and calendar items.
This will not be an issue for iOS and Android users since both support the CardDAV and CalDAV protocols Google plans to use instead of EAS. Google says that they will continue to support devices already using EAS. However, it will not allow activating it on new Windows Phones. However, Windows Phone may not be the only Microsoft platform affected by this problem. Users of the new Windows RT (based on Windows 8) for tablets may be affected too since RT uses EAS to sync email, contacts, and calendar information too.
Sending and receiving email from a Windows RT device through Google mail should continue to work using IMAP4 and SMTP. However, contacts and calendar will stop working.
Speaking of SMTP, while, while sending email through Google’s SMTP server works for me, I have been unable to send email using the two other SMTP servers I use. And, I’m not the only one. The thread on Microsoft Answers below indicates that this is a confirmed problem for other people and their SMTP servers too.
The Windows RT mail app is an exercise in poor user interface (try deleting multiple messages using just the touch display) to begin with. Starting next month, it may simply be unusable for some Surface owners.