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Google blocking full Windows Phone YouTube app says Microsoft


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Google is responsible for blocking a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone platform, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel Dave Heiner yesterday wrote a blog posting about the company's issues with rival Google. Among his comments he chose to address the ongoing troubles surrounding the Windows Phone YouTube app.

Whilst Android and iOS have fully featured and dedicated YouTube apps provided by the YouTube team itself, Windows Phone has only ever had a lightweight equivalent (provided by Microsoft) that effectively acts as a wrapper for the mobile YouTube web service.

Heiner is now claiming that the YouTube team is in favour of making a fully featured Windows Phone app, but that Google is blocking the move.

"YouTube itself would like all customers — on Windows Phone as on any other device — to have a great YouTube experience," claims Heiner, "but just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."

So what's Google's view on these latest claims? Denial, it seems. As reported by AllThingsD, the software giant issued the following statement on the matter:

"Contrary to Microsoft’s claims, it’s easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows phones. Windows phone users can access all the features of YouTube through our HTML5-based mobile website, including viewing high-quality video streams, finding favorite videos, seeing video ratings, and searching for video categories. In fact, we’ve worked with Microsoft for several years to help build a great YouTube experience on Windows phones."

It could be argued that Google is being willfully obtuse here, for the reasons outlined in the opening paragraphs. Microsoft is clearly talking about achieving platform parity with Android and iOS through the same kind of dedicated YouTube app as its rivals have received.

The question is, what is the reason for this continued snub? Are there genuine issues with the way Microsoft wants to manipulate the YouTube service for its Windows Phone platform, or are the Windows Phone 8 adoption rates simply so low that a dedicated app isn't worth Google's time right now?

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January 3, 2013, 10:13 am

I've been using WP7, and now WP8, devices for the past 2 years and while lack of native Google support has been annoying there are a lot of 3rd party alternatives to choose from.

While the typical Google response from the past few years to the lack of native WP apps has been that "WP ecosystem is too small", the fact that they say that is a little 'off' to me. It's not too long ago that Google were trying to provide access to their services on every platform going.
To me it now seems that Google as an entity is becoming more 'corporate' and trying to protect the position of their own mobile OS. It's a position I can understand, but not one I agree with.

Hopefully WP8 can gather some momentum this year and gain more market share, and thus force some support from Google. I'd also like Google to re-iterate their mantra "Don't be evil", as that seems to be slipping from their own thoughts let alone the public conciousness.

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