With the launch of Outlook.com last month, Microsoft has tried to provide a real choice to the users. But the fans of IMAP were left disappointed as Outlook primarily supports Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) instead of the traditional IMAP. This was done because Microsoft found EAS to be fast, battery-efficient, and a long term bet.
The Outlook team decided to hold a Q&A session at Gizmodo and it didn't take long for the users to pop-up the IMAP support question. Clarifying their decision of not supporting IMAP in Outlook.com, a member of Outlook team said,
"IMAP is an old protocol that supports only mail syncing (not calendar and people). While EAS is a better protocol as it’s fast, battery-efficient, syncs mail, calendar, people and tasks as well".
He further added," All modern phones support EAS, including iPhone, Android, Windows Phone. So, EAS is our long-term bet, and we just prioritized getting it out there before "going backwards" and working on IMAP."
Despite supporting their decision to support EAS instead of IMAP, the representative said, IMAP is good for two things: (1) Supporting legacy phones and clients that don't have EAS suppot, (2) supporting developers who want an API to access mail. He also said that they know the importance of these two things and thus the users can expect an IMAP support for Outlook sometime down the line. However he refused to comment on any release date but said "If IMAP is really, really important to you, you should wait to upgrade."
This news will surely make the Mac and IMAP fans happy who are willing to try their hands on the new Outlook.com which is more sleek and supports integration of popular social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from the inbox itself.