So Microsoft - you want me to use gmail now?

So I got my windows phone. I had access to some early units and read a lot so I knew I was going to be pretty happy... and I am.

I really like the people hub - with a few clicks it bought in my facebook people and my live messenger people. Where people are in more than one place you can link them and it magically keeps everything in sync. Very cool. Once I visit the phone store to get my contacts transferred I will have almost everyone in there.... ALMOST...

The bulk of my contacts are in Outlook. Sure some are duplicated on the old phone, facebook and messenger but the ones I can edit and keep up to date are in outlook. Surely Microsoft has a way to sync those... OMG NO THEY DON'T

Hey windows phone has a calendar - that would be cool to have in my pocket - how do I sync that from outlook? OMG YOU DON'T

Lets see what google says about this - it knows everything right: Survey says.....

Wow lots of choices there - and not one of them allows you to keep your master contact list or calendar in outlook. There's nothing that automtically syncs outlook to any of the 'cloud' services. I can import them but its a one shot deal. Maybe that would be OK as the primary store if outlook would then use that as its calendar/contacts list - but no thats an import the other way. Also I have my own domain for email so I really dont want to use hotmail or gmail.

Essentially the message from Microsoft here appears to be "we don't care much about the 10+ years of people and events you have in outlook if you buy a windows phone". Unless you want to pay for hosted exchange of course.

So now I begin the search for my 'cloud based' life... since google is the only one that will allow me to continue to use my domain with google apps I'm not really seeing much choice here. Hopefully some of you out there who enjoy the Microsoft lifestyle have a reasonable solution.

Published 22 February 2011 06:18 PM by zman


# Peter said on 23 February, 2011 01:11 AM

Yeah the Outlook thing is super painful.  Even with hosted Exchange there are, for example, Android email clients that offer more functionality than the WP7 one (e.g. sync notes and tasks that the WP7 client doesn't)...  But you can use hotmail but with your own domain if you want:

# Steve Lacey said on 23 February, 2011 05:24 PM

Lemme know is you need help setting up Google Apps ;-)

# Ely said on 24 February, 2011 03:09 PM

I use to use hotmail to host my domain email, but switched over to gmail and google apps about a year ago, and it has been great.  The main reason I left hotmail was because they attached advertisements to my outgoing emails, and at the time I wasn't a fan of the gmail interface.  However, after getting use to it, I find the gmail interface to be excellent, and I would rather use it now over Outlook.

I can't comment on how well gmail integrates with wp7, but I have an Android and it is pretty seamless.  Email usually shows up on my phone even before it does on gmail, and contact and calendar syncs are almost immediate.  I now use gmail contacts and calendar as my main sources for those types of programs.

It just seems much easier to have your phone constantly syncing to a cloud service of some type rather than syncing every once in awhile to your PC.



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