Earlier today rumors started floating around that Google is somehow now blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps through Internet Explorer.
Well, it turns out that that was totally false and untrue. As it turns out, the mobile browser version of Google Maps was built for Webkit-based browsers, and the mobile version of Internet Explorer is not based on Webkit. So that's why it doesn't work. Now go on about your business.
Update: Google confirmed it with us. A Google Spokesperson said:
The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.
Update 2: A Microsoft spokesperson has responded to Google saying that:
"Internet Explorer in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 use the same rendering engine."
It appears that http://maps.google.com worked fine on Windows Phone until Google started blocking it. In fact it is still working on the Lumia 920 if I go to http://maps.google.co.uk as it looks like they forgot to redirect that one. Are there differences between how it works on Windows Phone and on webkit based mobile browsers? Yeah but to say that "Since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web" is simply not true. Internet Explorer on the desktop is not a WebKit browser and it works fine with Google maps.
It seems as though the reason that Windows Phone can't access Google Maps is that Google decided (for reasons they would need to explain) to start blocking Windows Phone users. It has worked, because the browser on Windows Phone is the same as the browser in Windows 8.