This is why Google blocked the Windows Phone Youtube App

Google Headquarters

Just two days after Microsoft launches the Youtube App for the Windows Phone, Google slaps em’ in the face.

People were reporting problems with playback in the Youtube App and it turns out that root cause was Microsoft’s violation of Youtube’s terms of service.

Here’s the official statement from Youtube:

We’re committed to providing users and creators with a great and consistent YouTube experience across devices, and we’ve been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, 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.

Basically, Microsoft reverse engineered the Ad code to meet Google’s criteria but this meant Google couldn’t reliably guarantee the right Ads would appear in the rotation so Google revoked Microsoft’s API key which essentially blocked Microsoft from using the App.

What’s going on here?

The animosity between Microsoft and Youtube actually dates back to May when Microsoft first released the Youtube app.

Google was annoyed with Microsoft because the Windows Phone did a poor job displaying Google’s advertisements.  Google was also perturbed because Microsoft allowed users to download Youtube videos directly from the App and therefore the App didn’t accurately reflect Google’s brand.

So what happened?

Microsoft pulled the App and Google and Microsoft  tried to come to an amicable agreement.

So what’s going on today?  The reason Google stymied Microsoft’s app efforts today is because Google wanted Microsoft to develop the App using HTML5 standards but Microsoft claimed it couldn’t do this because of the technical strictures of the Windows Phone platform.

But alas someone has to compromise right?

You would think.

Youtube was also vexed that Microsoft built a custom interface with Google Ads.  Google complained it might break the application, Microsoft retorted that it wouldn’t break and back and forth the blame went.

The part about this debacle that really confounds me is that Google issued a statement that it wants uniformity in the developer community.

Everyone should use HTML5

This has been Google’s mantra for months; however, those very words belie Google’s actions, because Google’s own mobile apps for iOS and Android actually use native code not HTML5.

Oooooh the hypocrisy!

So now we have a Catch-22.

Microsoft wants to provide a reliable Youtube experience to users on the Windows Phone but Google says Microsoft has to use the HTML5 standard.  But Microsoft can’t use the HTML5 standard because the Windows Phone platform doesn’t have good support for it yet.  It’s an inescapable impasse.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this sucks for users.  We don’t care about Microsoft and Google bickering over standards, we just want our stuff to work.

David Howard, VP & Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft actually posted an informative blog about Google’s openness regarding this issue.  You can read the full thing on TechNet.

I just hope Microsoft and Google can come to an amicable agreement soon or else there will be a bevy of unhappy Windows Phone users brandishing their phones like weapons ready to get refunds… okay I’m being dramatic but the longer this drags on the more annoyed Microsoft phone fans are going to be .

What do you think about this fiasco?  Can Microsoft extricate themselves from this?  What should Microsoft do?  And what’s the deal with Google contradicting itself?  You say we can’t use Native code yet you use native code yourselves!

Ack.. :: facepalm ::

 

 

 

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