GMS has never provided cradle sync support for email, calendar and contacts. It has always been an over the air solution.
There was only one product that Novell supported that worked through cradle sync and that was a product called PDAConnect.
Now you could install an email client on your device using three methods....hit a web site, through a SMS message or through cradle sync. This was just to get the client installed on your mobile device.
Did I understand or am I still confused?