In a clash over YouTube that could just as well be in an “Epic Rap Battles of History” video, Microsoft (News - Alert) and Google are clashing over YouTube access from Windows Phones. Microsoft has accused Google of denying users a YouTube app, while Google is countering with a claim that Windows Phone (News - Alert) users can access YouTube through the HTML5 mobile site with or without a unique app.
Google is already under an antitrust investigation from the FTC (News - Alert) for supposedly penalizing its search engine rivals, but that investigation is to be shut down when Google reforms some of its practices. So it seems Microsoft wants to keep the pressure on by continuing to mount accusations against it.
Still, that doesn’t invalidate said accusation. If Google (News - Alert) is constantly denying Microsoft the right to make a YouTube app for Windows Phones, at least one beyond a basic mobile website browser display, it’s showing clear favoritism to the Android devices and iPhones with better high-quality apps.
"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,” claims Dave Heiner, Microsoft deputy general counsel. “As a result, Microsoft's YouTube 'app' on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube's mobile website, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones."
Google’s response also leaves much to be desired. Instead of addressing the actual complaint, that it has been denying Microsoft access to the metadata it needs to make a YouTube app, it just tells us to use its mobile website. The site can do everything from a mobile phone that it can from a computer, so it claims a mobile app would be redundant.
Is a YouTube app more useful than the website? For mobile devices, it often has a more device-friendly interface, and saves time when one wants to quickly pull up a video. Google wants to defeat Microsoft, we get that, but denying its users a YouTube app is not the best way to go about it. Remember, Google: “Don’t be evil.”
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