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Frustrated - will this not work with Gmail, calendar, and contacts?


New Member
My life and devices are all connected seamlessly with Gmail. I have no interest in additional services like that, I have everything built quite well in Gmail. However, my new Surface RT won't connect to Gmail, and I have no calendar or contact info.

Will Surface work well with Gmail or do I need to get rid of it and go back to Android? I like the look and feel of Surface, but if MS and Google won't talk to each other, this device is useless to me.

Please reply ASAP. I'm about ready to sell this thing. And I've only had it 6 hours.


Active Member
It's more like Google stopped talking to Microsoft. Google discontinued Exchange ActiveSync for free accounts a while back, sometime last fall. Any provider offering Exchange ActiveSync pays Microsoft licensing fees to do so, Google decided to stop footing the bill, at least for free accounts. Paid users of Google Apps still have Exchange ActiveSync functionality, however, it's an antiquated version that hasn't been updated in some time.

It's still possible to sync stuff between Microsoft & Google, but you have some hoops to jump through to get it all working. An internet search should provide plenty of resources to get up 'n running. It's an OK solution, but you lose push email. Probably would've been best to research Gmail's limitations on non-Google products prior to purchasing a new system.


New Member
From what I can tell, it should be possible to get some progress on this fairly easily.

First things first, make sure you've updated to Windows 8.1 This is essential, as without it you won't be able to update to the latest version of Mail, Calendar and People.
Second, make sure you're up to date with the latest Windows apps from the store. Go to the store and check for updates if necessary.

For Mail, just go ahead and try adding an account - you should be able to try adding a Google account, but if this doesn't work, you can also try IMAP. Instructions from Google are here: https://support.google.com/mail/troubleshooter/1668960?hl=en

For Contacts, again, just try adding the google account and see how far you can get with this. I've not used it myself but it's worth a go.

Calendar seems to be the only app where you can't explicitly select 'Google' when adding an account. There is one way you could try to work around this limitation. If you have a Windows Live ID, then you essentially already have an Outlook.com account too. I know I know - you don't want to migrate to these services - but you can use it as a 'go between'. First, go to Google and publish a link to your calendar. Then take that link, go to Outlook.com, switch to the calendar and add a published calendar - use the Google URL you got. Once done, when you sync your Microsoft account to your Surface, your Google calendar should now show up.
The limitation is that you may not be able to /add/ events, only view them.

If you pin the Google Calendar to your start screen however, then this can be your 'go to' place for adding appointments, and all you'd really need the built in app to do is give you reminders etc (if that's what you'd be gunning for).

Let us know how you get on. Google haven't exactly been sticking with their 'don't be evil' mantra when it comes to supporting Windows devices, but it's worth noting that most vendors (Microsoft, Google, Apple) deliver the best experience to their own platforms first! I switched from Gmail to Microsoft and couldn't be happier, but I understand you might be wanting to stick with Google. Good luck!


New Member
I was holding a similar view about google integration with windows 8 until I discovered that the Surface Pro 2 DOES NOT support connected standby. So basically notifications on the metro interface are a waste of time for users who spend a lot of their day in the desktop when chrome notifications do same thing. For me personally the only way I could get proper use of the metro interface is if connected standby was working. Why is there is a quiet hours configuration for a device that doesn't support connected standby?

I agree that google are not playing ball here. The fact that they do not have a hangouts app for windows 8.1 is inexcusable. We pay for google apps and they originally touted it as a platform agnostic solution...mac windows or whatever...its in the cloud. Doesn't seem that way anymore.