Outlook 2013 to support Exchange Active Sync

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Outlook 2013 email client would add more support for the Internet Message Access Protocol, better known as IMAP. Today, the company announced that Outlook 2013 will also support Exchange Active Sync.

In a new post on the official Outlook blog, Microsoft stated that Outlook 2013 will no longer need the older Outlook Connector protocol to sync up accounts with other devices and online services. According to the post:

Outlook 2013 uses newly-added support for the rich Exchange Active Sync (EAS) protocol that has become the gold standard used by smartphones and other mobile devices. EAS will sync mail, calendar, contacts and tasks from your Outlook.com account! We've heard many requests from users who want to sync their tasks from an Outlook.com account, and now you can.


The blog goes over how to set up Outlook 2013 for it to sync up to an Outlook.com address. It also reveals how to connect Outlook 2013 to a custom domain that's connected to Outlook.com. Microsoft adds that users who upgrade their older Outlook 2010 client to the new Outlook 2013 version will find that their Hotmail accounts will be set up automatically using EAS. It states, "When you open your new Outlook 2013 you'll be able to access the personal email accounts you had set up."

Source: Outlook blog | Image via Microsoft

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24 Comments

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Ao does this mean that it also supports Gmail and Google Apps without the Google Apps Sync tool? It would alos include the free Google Apps accounts. pretty amazing if it does. Google are going to be annoyed that they will lose sales for the business edition when people buy Outlook 2013 instead. A lot of businesses only buy it for the Outlook Sync tool. It might actually be Google having to block the feature to save their business model on Google Apps, but don't know how without being evil.

Yeah it's been supported in the technical preview for some time.

It was just a bug that prevented Outlook 2013 from automatically recognizing Hotmail/Live/etc domains as ActiveSync, so you had to specify the server name.

I do have contacts with non-ASCII characters, but in that case I would expect ALL contacts that have only plain ASCII characters to be synced and that is not the case either. Some other forum had a thread where it was said that MS knows of this and is investigating it. Just hope they will find a solution soon.

Not exactly an announcement. I've been using it for months in the beta! They've written a technical article about the feature they announced many moons ago. It's only an announcement if you've been living in a hole this last year.

Now if MS could only fix the bug where Outlook 2013 only syncs a very small, seemingly random, subset of all contacts on your outlook.com account, that would be very nice.

Merbac said,
Now if MS could only fix the bug where Outlook 2013 only syncs a very small, seemingly random, subset of all contacts on your outlook.com account, that would be very nice.

Do you have any non-ASCII characters in your address book? There used to be a bug with Unicode characters in Hotmail. It might still exist in Outlook.com.

TomJones said,

Do you have any non-ASCII characters in your address book? There used to be a bug with Unicode characters in Hotmail. It might still exist in Outlook.com.

My understanding is Outlook currently supports exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail/outlook accounts, but for other accounts it does not, so now this is being added.

moonfalle said,
My understanding is Outlook currently supports exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail/outlook accounts, but for other accounts it does not, so now this is being added.

The added EAS functionality in Outlook 2013 is only for service based systems like Outlook.com, and it is not going to be useable for on-premises deployments of Exchange.

scorp508 said,

The added EAS functionality in Outlook 2013 is only for service based systems like Outlook.com, and it is not going to be useable for on-premises deployments of Exchange.

Correct. Connecting to an actual Exchange server will still be through MAPI.

mlowijs said,
Wait, what? Hasn't every version of Outolook supported ActiveSync and IMAP?
I think its referring to using Outlook 2013 + outlook.com (Hotmail) via Active Sync

mlowijs said,
Wait, what? Hasn't every version of Outolook supported ActiveSync and IMAP?


I think it supported Exchange, but not Exchange ActiveSync. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

pikablu0530 said,

I think it supported Exchange, but not Exchange ActiveSync. Correct me if I'm wrong though.

You are correct. Previous versions of Outlook connected to Exchange via a MAPI-based protocol.

Outlook 2013 has introduced Exchange ActiveSync for the first time. Most notably, this allows Microsoft to throw out its old, unreliable, and insecure (unencrypted!) Outlook connector for Hotmail.

Thus, the branding for Outlook.com makes at least a little bit of sense. You actually can connect to it with Outlook 2013, out-of-the-box, with no add-on software.

Note: The implementation of EAS in Outlook 2013 is not backward-compatible with older versions of the EAS protocol, as implemented in many non-Microsoft email services.

TomJones said,

You are correct. Previous versions of Outlook connected to Exchange via a MAPI-based protocol.

You could connect to Exchange with Outlook via MAPI, IMAP, POP, and SMTP depending on how Exchange was configured, with MAPI being vastly the most common scenario.

PUC_Snakeman said,
Where do I add/edit tasks on my Outlook.com account?
To add/edit tasks within Outlook 2013 choose Tasks at the bottom of the main view.

To add/edit tasks from the web you can either switch to the Calendar web app from within the Outlook/People/SkyDrive web app (hit the arrow by the header, then choose Calendar) or go directly to http://calendar.live.com. Once there choose the To-do list tab at the top.

Ah, thank you, but it's as I thought. On the web, you are still limited to just a "To-do", which is not the same as "an Outlook Task", mainly because I need to create/support recurring tasks, but also because I'd like category support as well.

Dang.

Arkose said,
To add/edit tasks within Outlook 2013 choose Tasks at the bottom of the main view.

To add/edit tasks from the web you can either switch to the Calendar web app from within the Outlook/People/SkyDrive web app (hit the arrow by the header, then choose Calendar) or go directly to http://calendar.live.com. Once there choose the To-do list tab at the top.