Maybe worth mentioning that this will only affect gmail users.CSD_ImagesWhilst this will affect predominantly Windows Phone it will also affect iOS users in the mobile space. On a wider aspect it could affect all e-mail clients as CardDAV and CalDAV are not widely supported, and the IMAP protocol that Google uses is non-standard but it does work on most e-mail clients you just don't get the advanced functionality Google baked into it.
Not mentioned by the OP or in the linked article but clearly stated in the blog post is that they are not stopping the use of it for anyone, they are simply stopping you setting up a new device. It wil be interesting to see whether this would stop, for example, someone upgrading their iphone continuing to use it as they wil presumably simply restore what was backed up from their old phone.seanbAs the article points out, it's odd that they're keeping it for paying apps customers which means they've got to keep maintaining it. Either it's going to be phased out for them in due course, or it's part of a gradual move towards making the free option less attractive. I've found the EAS connector is definitely the best way to get push email to IOS devices - it works much better than IMAP push and even on Android the gmail app lags a bit in collecting email. Shame that users will be the ones losing out in the Apple/Microsoft/Google war.