Microsoft Is Super Pissed at Google For Breaking Its YouTube App

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Is Super Pissed at Google For Breaking Its YouTube App

Earlier today, the Microsoft-built YouTube app for Windows Phone was unceremoniously disabled by Google. These kind of little inter-corporate kerfuffles happen from time to time, and usually resolve themselves without screwing too many users. But boy, Microsoft didn't take it quietly.

In a screed published on this afternoon, Microsoft explains the whole ordeal, and it doesn't paint Google in the kindest light. You see, like a lot of companies, Google doesn't actively develop for Windows Phone because they figure Microsoft's mobile platform doesn't have enough users to make it worthwhile. And it doesn't help that Microsoft's a major competitor in multiple areas of Google's key business interests.

So Microsoft does them a solid and builds a YouTube app on their behalf. And then Google pulls the plug. And then the fun starts:

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).

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Google has never played fair with Microsoft. But it maybe went too far when it demanded that Microsoft code its Windows Phone YouTube app in HTML5. Microsoft looked into it, but decided it was too much work:

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.

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Not only do Google's engineers agree building the HTML5 app would be too difficult, they haven't even done it themselves on their other apps. So Microsoft said screw it and published the non-HTML5 app, which Google promptly disabled.

Google alleges that the app needs to run HTML5 so that it can properly serve adds. Microsoft thinks that's all hot air, and says so with more candor than we're used to seeing from multibillion dollar public corporations:

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.

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And that's why 4.63-percent of mobile gadgets lost their YouTube app today:

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.

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Hopefully the two companies will sort this out soon so that Windows Phone owners can get back to their videos of cats playing keyboards. In the meantime, they'll just have to make due with the catfight happening on corporate blogs. [Microsoft]

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DISCUSSION

Sounds pretty crappy.

But you have to have some perspective on other parts of Windows Phone. Try going and doing a "web search". No auto completeion for past searches or releated searches, and there's not even TYPING AND SELLING CORRECTION when doing a search.

Then if you actually do a search, there is one ENTIRE screen work of fake results first. Paid and and redirections. You have to scroll through a whole screen worth of stuff to get to the actual top link. That's greed gone overboard.

So, while it sounds like Google is doing something a bit shitty, MS *kind of* deserves it for the way they designed parts of WP8.

Now, I have a Lumia 521. I'm pretty happy with it, especially considering the price. I recommended it to my father, as a good option, rather than buying a $700 iPhone. But there's just a few tiny, tiny little things that need to be changed to make the UX better, and thus make the phone 100x better.

If MS listened to me, they could be a market leader. But they won't.