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Microsoft Fires Back at Google for Blocking Windows Phone Youtube App

August 15, 2013 No Comments

Back in May 2013, Microsoft pushed out an update to its Youtube app on Windows Phone to make it up to par with IOS and Android versions. Microsoft did this because Google was obviously not interested in giving Windows Phone users access to a solid Youtube offering.

Shortly after, Google began crying foul about the app not meeting certain guidelines, Microsoft fought it for awhile and then they both ‘agreed’ to work together. You can read all the past stories on the subject here.

The app was taken off the Windows Phone Store for awhile and then magically the app made its way back this week. Hours after however, Google blocked Windows Phone from accessing the service via the app.

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, David Howard has now replied to Google’s latest anti- Windows Phone actions in a blog post.

You may be wondering what happened to the YouTube app for Windows Phone. Last May, after we launched a much improved app on our platform, Google objected on a number of grounds. We took our app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. This week, after we addressed each of Google’s points, we re-launched the app, only to have Google technically block it.

We know that this has been frustrating, to say the least, for our customers. 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).

He also noted:

There was one sticking point in the collaboration. Google asked us to transition our app to a new coding language – HTML5. This was an odd request since neither YouTube’s iPhone app nor its Android app are built on HTML5. Nevertheless, we dedicated significant engineering resources to examine the possibility. At the end of the day, experts from both companies recognized that building a YouTube app based on HTML5 would be technically difficult and time consuming, which is why we assume YouTube has not yet made the conversion for its iPhone and Android apps.

For this reason, we made a decision this week to publish our non-HTML5 app while committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5. We believe this approach delivers our customers a short term experience on par with the other platforms while putting us in the same position as Android and iOS in enabling an eventual transition to new technology. Google, however, has decided to block our mutual customers from accessing our new app.

It seems to us that Google’s reasons for blocking our app are manufactured so that we can’t give our users the same experience Android and iPhone users are getting. The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it.


Finally, Google cites a degraded experience. Since 2010, Google permitted a Windows Phone app that was far below the iPhone and Android app experiences. Reviews of our new app are unanimous that the experience is much improved, and we’re committed to making adjustments to improve it further. If Google were truly concerned about a degraded experience, it would allow our users access to the new YouTube app they love.

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.

You can read the whole post here 

Hopefully, Microsoft fights this until the end but in the long run its users who suffer because of Google’s pettiness.

Free to Download

App Info:
Bring the world of YouTube to your Windows Phone! Log into your YouTube account, explore YouTube’s vast video catalog, browse your favorite channels, and subscribe to new channels. Share videos with your friends via your social networks, email, and text messages. Enjoy listening to your video playlist with enhanced player controls.

Pin any video, playlist, channel, and even search queries to Live Tiles. Live Tiles flip to show YouTube’s most popular videos or your subscriptions’ latest uploads. YouTube for Windows Phone is also integrated with Kid’s Corner, so you can ensure your kids are watching age-appropriate videos.


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