We look at lots of email clients and mobile apps. And while most mobile apps (Bluemail, BlackBerry Hub, Outlook and Gmail) work nicely with Exchange ActiveSync, the same unfortunately cannot be said for Windows desktop clients.
In particular, Microsoft’s decision to discontinue support for Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) in Outlook 2016 essentially rendered the legacy client useless for people looking to sync email, calendars and contacts. That move left many of us looking outside the box for an Outlook replacement.
There is no shortage of slick Outlook alternatives – emClient, BlueMail, and Mailbird to name a few. And most of these modern clients support Exchange. However, none of them allows users to connect using EAS. Enter Mozilla Thunderbird.
“Thunderbird?” you ask? That’s right! Thunderbird which might actually be the first and oldest Outlook alternative, provides a stable EAS solution.
Here’s how it works. By default, Thunderbird supports POP3 and IMAP connections for email, and using IMAP you can sync your email to your preferred IMAP mail server. To synchronize calendars and contacts, all you have to do is install a simple little Thunderbird Add-on called TbSync which uses EAS and/or CalDAV/CardDAV protocols to connect to your Groupware server.
So that’s how Thunderbird has become our recommended Windows client for EAS.
Here is a link to download Thunderbird:
After you get it installed, you can get the TbSync Add-on by clicking the menu icon and clicking Add-ons / Get Add-ons. Search for tbsync and then add each of the following add-ons: 1) TbSync and 2) Provider for Exchange ActiveSync.