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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 here

Source: TechNet

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What goes around comes around...
By Kaldor on 8/16/2013 11:03:01 AM , Rating: 2
MS has held nearly all the Android phone makers up and made them pay in for their "patents" on a per device basis. This is Google giving MS the big middle finger in response IMO.

Correct me if Im wrong, but isnt Motorola the only one that has told MS to get bent as far as paying the "patent tax" to MS on each device?

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/16/2013 11:26:29 AM , Rating: 1
Yeah having a real hard time feeling sorry for Microsoft here. And Microsoft complaining about anti-trust violations? Microsoft, the anti-trust kingpin? Sweet irony...

Translation: "We cannot build a compelling ecosystem for our phones, or a decent app catalog, we need Google to carry us! Even while we run a "Google is screwing you" negative add campaign."

RE: What goes around comes around...
By kleinma on 8/16/2013 11:33:19 AM , Rating: 5
So because of things that happened in the 90s and MS was forced to pay up for, google should be allowed to do the exact same thing now 20 years later? Doesn't that show nothing has been learned and nothing has been fixed? I know you are super anti microsoft, but I fail to see how this is good for ANYONE. I mean does it affect you personally if there is a decent youtube app for windows phone? No it doesn't but you get a smile on your face for anything that is a blow to Microsoft, so you feel good about this kind of stuff.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Kaldor on 8/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: What goes around comes around...
By kleinma on 8/16/2013 11:53:30 AM , Rating: 5
Assumiung you meant to say google isn't forcing anyone to do anything, you are wrong. Google won't make a youtube app for windows phone. That is fine, they certainly don't have to. However when Microsoft makes their own, conforming to all the rules google set forth in their API terms, and then google yanks it because of a list of rediculous demands that google themselves don't follow with the apps they make for other platforms, then they are FORCING microsoft into a position to make a crappy, underperforming app using HTML5. They also made claims that the app doesn't show the correct ads, which MS responded by saying the ads that are being shown are limited by google's own API, MS has no control over it.

This is google being dicks on purpose, doesn't matter if you like or hate microsoft, this is bad for consumers, and sets a scary precedent for how google will likely deal with rivals going forward.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Kaldor on 8/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: What goes around comes around...
By kleinma on 8/16/2013 12:05:42 PM , Rating: 5
I'm fairly certain they want it programmed in HTML5 because unicorns have a horn in the middle of their head. See what I did there? Made a totally nonsense statement without anything to back it up. Just like you did.

Where is the data that states that the programming language used has anything to do with the revenue stream of youtube for google? All the actual interaction with google's services comes directly from the API google provides. The language used to build the app around it has nothing at all to do with anything.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Kaldor on 8/16/13, Rating: -1
By Totally on 8/16/2013 1:15:44 PM , Rating: 2
I just read that 'Solid' article. It's pretty much another copy of MS's paraphrased blog post circulating around the tech site. If you read the DT article you don't need to read it again. Also ..."It raises valid points for both sides of the argument." There weren't ANY other than the ones already outlined in the blog post.

pointlessly linking to pointless articles is a fanboy trademark btw.

By inighthawki on 8/16/2013 5:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
What does HTML5 have to do with Google's revenue stream?

RE: What goes around comes around...
By mckinney on 8/16/2013 12:23:10 PM , Rating: 3
I mean does it affect you personally if there is a decent youtube app for windows phone?

Does it affect you personally if there is MS Office apps for Android/IOS phones or tablets? MS rubs everyone's nose in it that doesn't have Windows devices. MS exploits their advantages, Google exploits theirs. Nothing new here

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Kaldor on 8/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: What goes around comes around...
By Beefmeister on 8/16/2013 1:05:47 PM , Rating: 4
The ability to be able to run Word or Excel on my phone would be extremely handy at times.

Erm, Office 365 for Mobile? It is right there in the Android market.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Cheesew1z69 on 8/16/13, Rating: 0
By kleinma on 8/17/2013 12:49:10 PM , Rating: 3
so it should be free is what you are saying?

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Kaldor on 8/16/13, Rating: -1
By kleinma on 8/16/2013 1:02:32 PM , Rating: 2
That comment was directed at reclaimer... not you.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/16/13, Rating: -1
RE: What goes around comes around...
By kleinma on 8/16/2013 4:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
MS has no soverign right to youtube. They do have the right to connect to the API and create an app to connect to youtube though. Google has the right to revoke that, since they own you tube, but they can't be selective in revocation. They can't say its ok for everyone but the companies that we feel are a threat to our mobile dominance. That is called antitrust. You cannot leverage your marketplace position to create an unfair disadvantage to your competition, and if you want to bring up the fact that Microsoft has done this, then you also need to bring up the consequences and years of govt oversight that they had to pay for it with. Somehow you think its ok to say something like "well MS did it before, now its googles turn to do it to them". OK, fine, so long as google gets hauled into court over it, levied with insane daily fines, and ordered to be have govt oversight for the next 10 years to make sure their moves are not monopolistic in nature. Then maybe it is fair, except for the fact that google should know better because they know the past. There was no past in the personal computing market when MS was working to dominate it.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2013 8:05:44 AM , Rating: 1
They do have the right to connect to the API and create an app to connect to youtube though.

Sure, if they follow Google's guidelines. Google is saying they haven't, MS is saying Google is being a big old meanie. You've chosen to take MS side, without hearing the whole story.

They can't say its ok for everyone but the companies that we feel are a threat to our mobile dominance.

How is Microsoft a "threat" and Apple isn't? Yet Google has no problem with Apple having YouTube apps and what-not on their marketplace. Google makes a TON of profit from iOS actually.

That is called antitrust. You cannot leverage your marketplace position to create an unfair disadvantage to your competition

Now you're just making sh*t up. EVERYONE has access to YouTube, it's called a browser. Google isn't blocking WP users from YouTube. They just want Microsoft to play by their rules and make an app that doesn't break them. Instead Microsoft has thumbed their nose at those rules, and continues releasing apps that allow for ad skipping, and other things that cheat content providers from revenue.

Somehow you think its ok to say something like "well MS did it before, now its googles turn to do it to them".

No, I'm not saying that at all. I don't think what Google is doing is even REMOTELY on the same level as the US vs MS anti-trust suit.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By kleinma on 8/17/2013 12:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
How did that google koolaid taste when you drank it?

By Reclaimer77 on 8/17/2013 3:33:16 PM , Rating: 1
Does RedTroll give you wings?

RE: What goes around comes around...
By jimbojimbo on 8/16/2013 11:38:24 AM , Rating: 2
You shouldn't feel sorry for MS but you should feel sorry for all the WP owners out there that just got the shaft.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By jnemesh on 8/16/13, Rating: 0
By inighthawki on 8/16/2013 5:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
I know a number of people who have had all three phones (IOS, Android, WP) and many of them have claimed that they enjoyed their WP experience far more than the other two. WP has most of the big name apps, and the reality is that nobody actually cares about all the rest. A million apps on your store is meaningless when there's still really only 100 good ones.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By NellyFromMA on 8/19/2013 12:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
So, basically what you are saying is MS should just break Chrome with Windows Update patches and go tit-for-tat with Google here?

By Reclaimer77 on 8/19/2013 2:17:17 PM , Rating: 1
In Retardville, population you, is that even the same?

Google isn't breaking Microsoft software. And they aren't blocking WP apps out of spite. Only idiot fanbois want to believe that's going on.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By kleinma on 8/16/2013 11:31:24 AM , Rating: 5
One has nothing to do with the other. Microsoft entered into patent license agreements with various android device makers. These device makers (like samsung) aren't dinky little companies with no legal staff. They clearly felt that they were in fact infriging on patented technology, otherwise they would have said no, and fought it in court if needed. Just like they did when Apple sued (and won BTW, not saying I agree with that verdict).

Google could very well get sued by Microsoft here for anticompetitive behavior. What if Microsoft told Google that Chrome installations would no longer be allowed after a windows update because it violates some laundry list of things that they pull out of their ass. Google would be up in arms screaming anticompete.

Google's position is that Apple is not a real threat to them. They can chip away at what Apple has done, get it done faster, better, and cheaper. MS is actually the real android threat, and google is doing what it can to prevent that platform from gaining traction, by blocking its services or making the experience of those services much worse than on android counterparts.

If anyone some how thinks this is a good or justified move, then you are just against MS and want them to fail. If you don't like the windows phone platform, you certainly don't have to use it. If it is as terrible as some of you think then what do you have to worry about? it will fail and be retired and you will still never had to use it. It doesn't affect you one bit, but it certainly sheds light on googles intentions of slowly working its way into monopoly positions where it can own the most popular destinations on the web, and cripple the access for the platforms it wants to fail. "Don't be evil, unless its for the good of the company".

By Labotomizer on 8/16/2013 12:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
A logical post... Crazy.

Unless Google's story is drastically different, this is abusing their market share to stifle competition. As simple as that. It's one thing to say "we won't make Google Apps for your platform" but to change the rule of the APIs so MS can't write the software? Hmmm, does sound an awful lot like what MS did in the 90s. If it was wrong then, it's wrong now. Simple as that.

I think MyTube and MetroTube offer superior experiences to what Google provides on iOS or Android but MS should be able to put out an "official" app as well.

RE: What goes around comes around...
By Samus on 8/16/2013 3:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
Google does make an excellent Maps client for WP8 now. I suspect this block has more to do with Microsoft's client circumventing Google advertisements on YouTube than anything else.

By kleinma on 8/16/2013 6:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect you didn't read the article.

By kleinma on 8/16/2013 6:07:24 PM , Rating: 2
Also google makes no software at all for the WP8 platform except for google search.

By nikon133 on 8/18/2013 8:24:20 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing to do with that.

MS, at least, is licensing their IPs to Android makers. Apple, on the other hand, is mostly trying to shut down Android makers for good. And yet, you have perfectly good YouTube, Google Maps... apps for iOS.

I don't think this is anything more than Google trying to stop (or at least slow down) potential future competitor while they are still weak. MS's business practices are closer to Google's - being based on ecosystem of OEMs rather than inhouse software and hardware creation - than Apple's, so I wouldn't be surprised if Google does not consider MS potentially bigger competitor than Apple is/will be in the future.

While I don't really have soft spot for any of those heavy-hitters, I don't like this behaviour. If Google can do this without being penalised for such behaviour, what will stop MS in future to do the same with their services and Android users - Hotmail/, SkyDrive, even Exchange - if they can find a way to pull it without being penalised?

At the end, it is us users who will suffer.

By NellyFromMA on 8/19/2013 12:35:18 PM , Rating: 2
How dare they get paid for things they worked on.

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