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Microsoft got scroogled: Google blocked Windows Phone YouTube app

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If you are a long-term GNULinux user you would love to see Microsoft in this position. IT world and competition has suffered quite a lot under Microsoft’s abusive monopoly which killed many competitors in the bud, before iOS and Android happened.

While Microsoft’s legal team may not miss any opportunity to brag about signing bogus patent deals with Android players over undisclosed (and thus can be assumed bogus) patents, it has no respect for the work of others.

Microsoft’s Windows Phone has a very very tiny market share, and thus it’s not a viable platform for Google or any other player to create any app for Windows Phones. Looking at the popularity of YouTube, Microsoft who never bothered to create any of its apps for GNULinux, went ahead and create its own YouTube app. For the obvious reasons the app did not meet Google’s terms and conditions as it offered a download option (and removed ads) to cut the revenues of hardworking content creators who publish their content on YouTube to monetize from the ads.

Microsoft had agreed to remove the app and the two companies were supposedly working together on the problem (nice to see Microsoft getting the same treatment it’s been giving to Linux for decades).

Microsoft then went ahead an updated the ad with a version which removed the download option and implemented ads.

However, ads were not implemented the way Google requires. Google went ahead and blocked the API Microsoft was using and blocked the app from accessing YouTube content.

Living up to its reputation tradition, Microsoft went public to bash Google and spread FUD. David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust, Microsoft, says “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.”

It’s funny to see that its coming from the same person who ‘brags’ about the bogus patent deals the company signs with Android players.

But he does admit that the reason Google is not allowing Microsoft is that “Google claims that one problem with our new app is that it doesn’t always serve ads based on conditions imposed by content creators.”

The Verge, however, reports that “It appears there are technical limitations in Windows Phone that are preventing Microsoft from building the YouTube HTML5 version.”

It appears there are technical limitations in Windows Phone that are preventing Microsoft from building the YouTube HTML5 version.

Update: There seems to be some confusion, thanks to Microsoft’s confusing statement. It seems Google wants Microsoft to use HTML5 for the app and not Flash. The message that seems to go out is as if Google is asking Microsoft to create an HTML5 app.

So, Microsoft is blaiming Google for the technical limitations of its own platform?

Looks like Microsoft has scroogled itself!

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I think users should not have to suffer due to dispute between two companies, especially when dealing with a company which is infamous for not respecting standards or for following the rules required by others. I feel sorry for Windows Phone users who are suffering due to limitations of Microsoft’s own platform. I think it gives them a legit reason to switch to Android.

Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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