August 19, 2013

YouTube App Pulled in Microsoft-Google Dispute

If you’re a Windows Phone (NewsAlert) owner who is particularly fond of music videos or comedy channels, you may be scanning your home screen or the app store to download YouTube and get your media fix. Unfortunately, recent developments have put you out of luck for now. Google (News Alert) pulled the new Windows Phone YouTube application from Windows Phones less than 50 hours after the application launched.

The source of the decision traces back to May, when Microsoft released a Windows Phone YouTube (NewsAlert) app and received Google’s distaste. The app didn’t carry Google ads, allowed for video downloads, and was branded differently than Google would have liked. Upon the negative response, Microsoft (News Alert) took the app down, and the two Internet goliaths agreed to work something out and resolve the issue.

Image via Shutterstock

Microsoft ended up rebuilding the YouTube app to solve Google’s initial three problems with it. However, the company used native code to build the app, and Google demanded it be built with HTML5. Unfortunately, Windows Phone was too limited a platform to support an HTML5 YouTube app; so Microsoft stuck to the native-code version and promised Google to shift to HTML5 once the Windows Phone was well enough developed. When Google wasn’t having any of it, Microsoft went ahead and launched the app anyway – resulting in a quick pull from the platform by Google.

In short, Google wanted HTML5, but Microsoft couldn’t – and didn’t – write the app that way. Google’s reasoning makes sense; the company stated its desire for its whole developer community to follow the “same guidelines” in employing HTML5. But the irony of the situation lies in the fact that Google has built its two mobile YouTube apps (for iOS and Android (NewsAlert)) with native code, and was still bound and determined to have the YouTube Windows Phone app built otherwise.

But fear not, Windows Phone-owning media geeks – you can still access YouTube via Internet Explorer and get your video fill. In the meantime, Microsoft and Google will attempt to come to an agreement.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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