Microsoft: Google Doesn't Want Windows Phone to Have Same YouTube Experience as Android/iOS
August 16, 2013 10:00 AM
Google recently blocked Microsoft's YouTube app for Windows Phone
Microsoft has been warring with Google over
a full YouTube app for Windows Phone
, but it looks like the two just can't come to an agreement.
Microsoft's David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Litigation & Antitrust, wrote a blog post with a simple message to Google: stop blocking Windows Phone's new YouTube app.
The blog post claims that Microsoft had been running a YouTube app that doesn't provide as full of an experience as the version for Android and iOS since 2010. It recently changed this by creating a more full-powered YouTube app, but Google has blocked it because the app doesn't meet its requirements.
This is what Microsoft is upset about. Howard claims that Microsoft is happy to work with Google on ways to make the app meet the Android maker's standards, but nothing seems to be working, and Microsoft believes Google is just making up excuses in order to keep Windows Phone from providing a full YouTube experience.
So what is it about Windows Phone's YouTube app that Google doesn't like? According to Howard, Google said the new app doesn't always serve advertisements correctly based on conditions by content creators. Microsoft asked Google to supply it with the information used by Android and iOS to ensure that advertisements are served correctly, and Google refused to do so.
Also, Google isn't happy with the branding of the product. Howard argued that Microsoft has been using the same branding since 2010 (the same branding it used for the inferior app) and Google never said anything before. Microsoft has apparently even made an effort to let users know that it is the author of the app, not Google.
Furthermore, Google said the app is a "degraded" experience. This doesn't make much sense to Howard either, considering the fact that Google allowed Windows Phone to feature a YouTube app that was far below the quality of Android's and iOS' for years.
But perhaps the largest issue is a request from Google that Microsoft transition the app to HTML5. Microsoft looked into doing so, but decided that it would take too much time and be too costly.
The bigger problem with launching an HTML5-based version is that this isn't required of either Android or iOS. Neither of the apps on those platforms are written in HTML5 language, so Howard believes Microsoft shouldn't have to pull its current app down just because HTML5 isn't doable right now.
However, Microsoft did agree to work on an HTML5 version as long as it could keep its current version up for Windows Phone users.
Google apparently didn't like this, and has since blocked Microsoft's YouTube app.
"We know that this has been frustrating, to say the least, for our customers," wrote Howard. "We have always had one goal: to provide our users a YouTube experience on Windows Phone that’s on par with the YouTube experience available to Android and iPhone users. Google’s objections to our app are not only inconsistent with Google’s own commitment of openness, but also involve requirements for a Windows Phone app that it doesn’t impose on its own platform or Apple’s (both of which use Google as the default search engine, of course).
"We think it’s clear that Google just doesn’t want Windows Phone users to have the same experience as Android and Apple users, and that their objections are nothing other than excuses. Nonetheless, we are committed to giving our users the experience they deserve, and are happy to work with Google to solve any legitimate concerns they may have. In the meantime, we once again request that Google stop blocking our YouTube app."
This isn't the first run-in between Microsoft and Google over the use of a full YouTube app for Windows Phone. Back in January of this year, Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft,
wrote a post
about the fact that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not doing enough to force Google to conform with antitrust laws. More specifically, Microsoft is upset that Windows Phone still cannot get a full YouTube app while the competition (Android and iOS) are able.
If you'd like to read the entire post by Howard, it's right
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