Windows Phone - 09 November 2010
Author: David K

There’s been some frustration out there that you can’t sync your Windows Phone directly with Outlook (unless you’re using exchange). You have to sync through Zune and it’s led to some frustrations, mostly due to people who can’t get things like photo contacts to sync with their shiny new devices. Well CompanionLink may have a solution. Well it’s really not their solution – it’s Google. They set your info into the Google world and then resync that with your phone. Man, it’s like Goog and MS just love and hate each other all day long. Here’s the press release

CompanionLink(R) Software announces two-way synchronization with all Windows(R) Phone 7 devices. Sync contacts, calendar, and tasks from Microsoft(R) Outlook(R), Outlook Business Contact Manager, Sage ACT!, IBM(R) Lotus Notes, Novell(R) GroupWise, or Palm(R) Desktop with the latest Windows Phone 7 devices, including Samsung(R) Focus(TM), HTC(R) Surround(TM), HTC HD7(TM), LG(R) Quantum(TM), and Dell(R) Venue Pro(TM).

CompanionLink offers Outlook sync with Windows Phone 7 via Google(R). CompanionLink syncs Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks with any Google, Gmail, or Google Apps account. Google then syncs with Windows Phone 7 devices using their Google Sync service. Changes made on the device will sync back to Google and then to the PC through CompanionLink.

CompanionLink’s sync solutions for Windows Phone 7 are available for a one-time cost starting at $39.95. A 14-day evaluation of the software is available at www.companionlink.com/windowsphone.

At a minimum, you can test it out to get a good initial sync and then work from there. Anyway, MS needs to fix this so that they don’t need to be saved by third parties…and Google.









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(25) Readers Comments

  1. $40! Are you crazy? This need existed long before now and there are already tons of contact syncing solutions that are cheaper or free. You have sucker written all over you.

  2. @danny: heheh I think the ‘free’ trial is good for most people who just want their pictures on their phone cause it’s one time. Their ‘solution’ as I noted was Google. So that’s it – sync outlook to Google, sync Google to phone and presumably you’re there for free.

  3. @DavidK: This is why I started using Microsoft Myphone and Windows Live mail. All my contacts are already on Live Mail so transition was a breeze.

  4. Really? You can’t sync Outlook with WP7 without a Gmail maneuver or a $40 third party program?

    Wasn’t this trumpeted as the Exchange/Office super-friendly mobile platform?

  5. Use Outlook Connector, it’s free.

  6. Pretty stupid solution if you have to give your data to google.

  7. What do you think Google will do with your data other than get you out of this $40 jam?

    Pretty stupid /problem/.

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  9. > You can’t sync Outlook with WP7 without a Gmail maneuver or a $40 third party program?

    You can – easily. You don’t need google or a absurd $40 program. As D-Money pointed out and you chose to ignore – as you do anything that makes sense – you can use outlook connector for free. That’s just one from MS but there are plenty of others. (For one there are plenty of free apps that do this for android users.)

  10. @Doug Simmons:

    For one thing they will hold it hostage if you want to import them into facebook: http://www.neowin.net/news/google-targets-facebook-contact-info. Guess their mantra “dont be evil” doesnt apply when they want to get at someone’s data.

  11. C’mon now danny. Don’t try to confuse people with facts…

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  14. Thats great, pay $40 for something you F***ing phone should already do out of the box.

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  16. Hey, $40 is dumb cheap! I”m glad this sync exists. What’s the alternative? Doing it by hand? I’ve got 20 yrs worth of contacts built up.

  17. The alternative, though it doesn’t sit will with some Microsoft extremists, is to relay your contacts and calendar from your gmail account to your phone, contacts you can get on to gmail from your computer by exporting them in a CSV format and importing it into the gmail account, then it syncs toward the phone, then you aim both your computer(s) and your phone at the gmail account, fully synced.

    If you don’t have one you can create one fairly quickly. If you don’t want to use the gmail address as the address you give out you can set it to use your existing address both when sending email as your from address and either dragging your incoming email out of your ISP or whoever’s server that has your email over POP or even better you set up a forward on your existing account to bounce the mail to your gmail so that there is no cycling delay.

    If you go google apps premier, then you get to sync outlook fully on any domain you have control over without having to do this CSV move.

    Or buy the forty dollar app or whatever.

  18. I can understand why some people do not want to sync their data through the cloud — however the reality is that everything does end up in the cloud at some point. My frustration with the Outlook Sync for Windows Phone 7 is that it does not sync TASKS. I have stayed with Windows Mobile Phones over the last couple years because the competition did not sync TASKS — now Windows doesn’t either.

  19. The problem with the Outlook Connector is that you have to manually drag information there, it doesnt do it automatically. I could be wrong but the video demo i saw the guy had to drage info from outlook to the hotmail account for it to sync.

    I think w7 is the worst junk you can invent. In the history of the smart phone syncing was easy and standard. w7 converted my HTC HD2 into a Iphone. Which is not a smart phone but a phone that is smart. It is a toy, business people dont want to fuss around. I want my word and excel on the train, I want my agenda synced without thinking about it. Sometimes I add an event, the phone charges and I rush out the house and everything is up to date, without a 2nd thought. Plane information critical information synced. emails synched. When I touch down I have replied to all my emails via my phone and then they sync right up to outlook. W7 has reversed all of the most basic advances to take us back to the stone ages. It actually does less, all it is a copy of Iphone paradigms. Which force us to do things we do not want to do (like put my info online for any hacker to get into). I have passwords and girlfriends details in my pst file. now i give that to hotmail or gmail.

  20. @D-Money:

    Outlook Connector is HORRIBLE…no auto sync…you have to manually update.

  21. I don’t see the point of MS giving thier unique business to thier competitors.
    Outlook is the mainstay of most small businesses, ‘contacts’ is the most valuable data to us.
    The “file as” field is a godsend. Most of my business contacts only have first names (mostly John) and i use the “file as” field to differentiate them (john, company). More importantly when john rings me, the caller is displayed as john,company–so i know who he is and the deal we struck.
    My wm6.5 phone is the only phone capable of syncing my contact list to my pc, with the all important “file as” field.
    How convienient was it to just plug the phone into the pc at the end of the day and all on the road calander/task/contact edits were synced automatically.
    Why the hell has MS dropped this sync feature. If i am forced to sync via Google or hot mail, well i can do that with any phone and MS lose another fan
    Sorry to rant –but i’m disapointed

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  23. This product is no solution. All it does is send all your information to Windows Live and then back down to your phone. That is the whole nature of the problem. People do not want to send all their information across the internet.

    And I want to emphasize that it is the Internet. This whole talk about “The Cloud” or Cloud service is none sense. Cloud technology is only a set of software to make devices and resources across multiple computers work together so its easier to add storage and peripherals to a server.

    The marketing department at Microsoft (and others) are pushing it as some kind of magic alternative to the Internet that will make all of the Internet’s security concerns go away. They don’t say it outright because it would be a lie. They just imply and hint. Whatever the cloud service, it still needs to be reached via good old fashioned TCP/IP net connections which are as secure as they’ve always been.

    Also, once your information is on Microsoft’s servers, they have it. Even if you erase it from your account, they can have it somewhere. What do they tell kids, anything you put out on the internet, assume it is there forever.

    I had a Windows phone for a week and I threw it in the drawer. I went back to Android. I will not use a Windows phone until Microsoft brings back Active Sync or something similar or, at the very least, does what Google did. Google tried to do the same thing with Android, but unlike Microsoft, Google gave developers a Bluetooth API and Wi-Fi API which allowed them to create synching software. One of the biggest sellers among Android Apps is “The Missing Sync”.

    BTW both Blackberry and IPhone sync with desktop software (including Outlook) over USB so we know it can be done unless Microsoft is insisting it can’t get two of its own programs to work together.

  24. I finally allowed the “cloud” to manage my contacts and calender with my Android but I still sync it with Outlook via Companion Link. Works quite well. I still miss how Outlook would sync with Windows Mobile.

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