Microsoft accuses Google of continuing to block Windows Phone’s access to YouTube
When Microsoft first launched Windows Phone in 2010, many people complained about the rather poor YouTube “app,” which is simply a window for YouTube’s mobile website. The reason for this lackluster experience, Microsoft claimed in 2011, is that Google is blocking Windows Phone from accessing YouTube’s application programming interfaces (APIs). Now, two years later, Microsoft is once again accusing Google of acting in direct defiance of antitrust laws.
In a post on the Microsoft on the Issues blog, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner reiterated the Redmond software giant’s stance on the two-year-old issue. Windows Phone still cannot access YouTube’s metadata in the same way that Android and iOS do, which has led to a poor experience for one of the most popular smartphone apps. The problem, Heiner says, is with Google’s executives, not YouTube.
“Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers. As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device – to have a great YouTube experience. But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones.”
Ouch. While there are a number of third-party alternatives on Windows Phone, like MetroTube and SuperTube, Microsoft has been unable to release its own app. And as good as the alternative apps are, people always go for the official app before third-party ones.
What are your thoughts on this issue?
[Microsoft on the Issues]
Usually companies trying to launch a platform partner with others to get it off the ground, much like Apple partnered with Google when they launched the iPhone. Microsoft can't do that though since they're also trying to launch their web services concurrently with Bing. And so they're forced to try and make do without.
Probably what will happen is that the need to prop up Bing will help drag down Windows Phone while the lack of a viable mobile platform to pair it with drags down Bing.
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