August 17, 2013
Google And Microsoft Duke It Out Over Windows Phone YouTube App
Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
If you’re having trouble with the YouTube app on your Windows phone, it’s probably because Google is blocking it. The video site’s app is currently at the center of a heated debate between the search giant, which owns YouTube, and Microsoft.
After Google lodged a complaint against the Windows phone app in May, Microsoft pulled it only to relaunch the updated app on Tuesday. However, the relaunched app apparently didn’t meet Google’s standards once again.
“Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service," a Google spokesperson told The Verge. "It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines."
Google’s initial complaints included the Windows app’s abilities to block advertisements and download videos from the popular video site. Google also requested the app be made using HTML5 code language.
Google’s latest statement, according to The Guardian, clashes with one released by Microsoft in conjunction with the YouTube app’s relaunch that said the app "provides the great experience our consumers expect while addressing the concerns Google expressed in May, including the addition of ads.”
However, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel David Howard said the two companies couldn’t agree to every demand made by the search giant.
"There was one sticking point in the collaboration,” Howard said in an official blog post. “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,” Howard said.
Howard said Microsoft decided to relaunch the app without using HTML5 while "committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5.”
Despite changes made to the app since May, Google has decided to block its access to YouTube.
"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," wrote Howard. "The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it."
Howard concluded his post in a conciliatory tone by requesting that Google stop blocking the app’s access, but also hinted it antitrust investigations into the company that are “still ongoing" where Google "has reiterated its commitment to openness and its ability to stick to its openness commitments voluntarily.”
YouTube has also played a role in disputes between Apple and Google. The YouTube app used to come preloaded into Apple’s iOS devices, but hasn’t appeared starting with the iOS 6 iterations because of the lapse of a licensing deal. The app has been made available through Apple’s App Store.