Just when you and I thought Google and Microsoft came over its dispute, after Microsoft launched its own YouTube app for Windows Phone earlier this week, we have to figure out hours later that it's not the fact at all. Last May, after Microsoft launched a much improved YouTube app for Windows Phone, Google objected on a number of grounds. Therefore Microsoft took the app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. As said, this week, after Microsoft thought that it addressed each of Google's points, the app was re-launched, only to have Google technically block it now. In a blog post with the title "The limits of Google's openness" , David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust, Microsoft went straight and explained the situation from Microsoft's perspective.
When we first built a YouTube app for Windows Phone, we did so with the understanding that Google claimed to grow its business based on open access to its platforms and content, a point it reiterated last year. As antitrust enforcers have launched investigations against Google – some of which are still ongoing – the company has reiterated its commitment to openness and its ability to stick to its openness commitments voluntarily.
With this backdrop, we temporarily took down our full-featured app when Google objected to it last May, and have worked hard to accommodate Google's requests. We enabled Google's advertisements, disabled video downloads and eliminated the ability for users to view reserved videos. We did this all at no cost to Google, which one would think would want a YouTube app on Windows Phone that would only serve to bring Google new users and additional revenue.
For this reason, we made a decision this week to publish our non-HTML5 app while committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5. We believe this approach delivers our customers a short term experience on par with the other platforms while putting us in the same position as Android and iOS in enabling an eventual transition to new technology. Google, however, has decided to block our mutual customers from accessing our new app.
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.
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.
Google has yet not publically respondent to the criticism but Microsoft's points sound pretty legit. It really seems Google wants to control YouTube as much as possible and acts like a gatekeeper who tries hard to keep competitors out of business.
Cheers ~ Arne