Google to shut down Google Sync ActiveSync support for new consumer devices, Calendar features, and more

Google-cleaningGoogle announced on its official blog today that it would do some “winter cleaning” by discontinuing a number of services in the near future. Among the services shutting down as of Jan. 30 is Google Sync, which allowed users to get access to Gmail, Calendar, and Contacts using the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol. As an alternative, Google recommended IMAP for mail and the recently launched CardDAV and CalDAV protocols. Google also confirmed it would continue offering the service to existing consumers and Google Apps for Business, Government, and Education customers.

Google also said it would shut down some of its less-popular Calendar features starting Jan. 4:

You’ll be unable to create new reservable times on your Calendar through Appointment slots, but existing Appointment slots will continue working for one year. In addition, we’ll discontinue two Calendar Labs—Smart Rescheduler (we recommend Find a time view or Suggested times as alternatives) and Add gadget by URL. Finally, Check your calendar via smsand Create event via sms (GVENT)—U.S.-only features for creating and checking meetings by texting information to Google—will be discontinued today, as most users prefer mobile Calendar apps.

Another victim of the winter cleaning is the Punchd app for Android and iOS that will officially shut down on June 7, 2013. At that time, retailers will no longer accept the service’s loyalty cards. Google’s full list of apps and features on the way out is below: Read more

Microsoft willing to settle with Google/Motorola, posts call for ‘A Solid Foundation for Patent Peace’

Microsoft is no stranger to signing up Android vendors to licensing agreements. Most of the major Android device manufactures are already paying the company royalties, and Microsoft is currently involved in various cases with Motorola in the U.S. and elsewhere. The latest from Microsoft’s intellectual property group is a statement posted by the group’s head Horacio Gutierrez and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith (via AllThingsD). In a message titled “A Solid Foundation for Peace”, Microsoft explained its willingness to negotiate a settlement of its current litigation with Motorola:

Microsoft has always been, and remains open to, a settlement of our patent litigation with Motorola. As we have said before, we are seeking solely the same level of reasonable compensation for our patented intellectual property that numerous other Android distributors – both large and small – have already agreed to recognize in our negotiations with them. And we stand ready to pay reasonable compensation for Motorola’s patented intellectual property as well.

However, within the post, Microsoft also noted its requirements for reaching a settlement over its various Android-related patent cases with Motorola—which include a comprehensive agreement covering all patents in question:
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ITC import ban on Motorola Android devices kicks in tomorrow, company promises availability in US

As noted in a report from Ars Technica, the ITC’s import ban on Motorola Android devices is set to kick in tomorrow. It covers 18 Motorola products infringing patents related to Microsoft’s Exchange Active Sync technology. Motorola, of course, has the option to pay Microsoft to license the patent, as it has in the past, but the company told Ars in a statement that it plans to continue selling its flagship devices in the U.S. following tomorrow’s ban:

“In view of the ITC exclusion order which becomes effective Wednesday with respect to the single ActiveSync patent upheld in Microsoft’s ITC-744 proceeding, Motorola has taken proactive measures to ensure that our industry leading smartphones remain available to consumers in the US,” Motorola said. “We respect the value of intellectual property and expect other companies to do the same.”

The following Motorola devices are covered by the ITC ruling: the Motorola Atrix, Backflip, Bravo, Charm, Cliq, Cliq 2, Cliq XT, Defy, Devour, Droid 2, Droid 2 Global, Droid Pro, Droid X, Droid X2, Flipout, Flipside, Spice, and Xoom.

Ars also received a statement from Microsoft’s Deputy General Counsel David Howard:
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