Phones Limited

Google and Microsoft at war over YouTube Windows Phone app

News   •   Aug 17, 2013 11:48 BST

Having trouble accessing the YouTube app on your Windows Phone handset such as the Nokia Lumia 925 smartphone? You’re not alone. This is due to Google and Microsoft at war over YouTube Windows Phone app.

A Google spokesperson told The Verge, “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. It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines.”

Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust at Microsoft, David Howard, wrote in a blog post, “You may be wondering what happened to the YouTube app for Windows Phone. Last May, after we launched a much improved app on our platform, Google objected on a number of grounds. We took our app down and agreed to work with Google to solve their issues. This week, after we addressed each of Google’s points, we re-launched the app, only to have Google technically block it.”

He adds, “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.

“Google claims that one problem with our new app is that it doesn’t always serve ads based on conditions imposed by content creators. Our app serves Google’s advertisements using all the metadata available to us. We’ve asked Google to provide whatever information iPhone and Android get so that we can mirror the way ads are served on these platforms more precisely. So far at least, Google has refused to give this information to us. We are quite confident that we can solve this issue if Google cooperates, but fixing Google’s concern here is entirely within Google’s control. If Google stops blocking our app, we are happy to work with them on this, entirely at Microsoft’s expense.

“Google also says that we are not complying with its “terms and conditions.” What Google really means is that our app is not based on HTML5. The problem with this argument, of course, is that Google is not complying with this condition for Android and iPhone. Again, we’re happy to collaborate with Google on an HTML5 app, but we shouldn’t be required to do something that apparently neither iPhone nor Android has successfully figured out how to do.

“Google raises concerns about our branding too. The funny thing about this point is that we’ve been using the same branding continuously since 2010 for an inferior YouTube app. Now that we have an app that gives users a fuller YouTube experience, Google objects to the branding (even though we’ve taken additional steps to clarify that we are the author of the app). Go figure.

“Finally, Google cites a degraded experience. Since 2010, Google permitted a Windows Phone app that was far below the iPhone and Android app experiences. Reviews of our new app are unanimous that the experience is much improved, and we’re committed to making adjustments to improve it further. If Google were truly concerned about a degraded experience, it would allow our users access to the new YouTube app they love.

“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.”

Do you think Google should stop blocking the YouTube Windows Phone app? Let us know through a comment.

Looking for more Nokia Lumia 925 White deals? You’ll find all the available deals on the smartphone at Phones Limited.