Wondered Why the YouTube App on WP7 is Poor? Thank Google…
March 31, 2011 Leave a comment
When the YouTube app launched in the Marketplace, users were hoping for a decent experience that provided most of YouTube’s capabilities on the phone. However, it seemed the app was nothing more than a browser launcher that ran the mobile version of YouTube. At the time, no one really knew why the app wasn’t very good but, according to Microsoft, the blame lies at Google’s door.
Brad Smith, Senior Vice President & General Counsel of MS, has posted quite a detailed blog post explaining how MS is filing a formal complaint to the European Commission against Google, regarding competition law. From the post:
…Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.
As you can see, it seems that MS has been specifically limited in terms of its access to YouTube. As a lot of comments about this topic have mentioned, this really seems like karma for MS who has also faced competition law rulings against them. Having said that, it shouldn’t entitle another company to do the same thing, especially when their motto is ‘do no evil’ and their goal is to be as open as possible. Whether you agree this is deserved, based on MS’s past actions, or not, the reality is that us users are the ones who suffer the most. Fortunately, there are other YouTube apps on the marketplace available, which should tide us over until MS release their ‘high quality YouTube app’ (assuming Google grant permission).