Google blocking full Windows Phone YouTube app says Microsoft

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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