Google yanks API for Windows Phone YouTube app, Microsoft responds
After having to pull down the original YouTube app for Windows Phone due to its inability to correctly show ads, Microsoft released an updated YouTube app on August 13 for its Windows Phone platform. However, Google has again pulled the plug on Windows Phone users and Microsoft, shutting down the API key Microsoft was using to access the world’s number one video site.
Why would Google, who has publicly stating their intentions of an “open” Internet, shut down YouTube from potentially millions of mobile viewers? If you ask Microsoft it’s all a bunch of “manufactured” reasons, and if you ask Google, it’s because they claim the Windows Phone YouTube app offers an inferior experience and Google is protecting all the poor Windows Phone users from it.
First, Google has stated that the Microsoft coded YouTube app still doesn’t display ads correctly, to which Microsoft states is due to Google’s poor API and not their engineering. Secondly, Google is demanding that Microsoft use HTML 5 for all YouTube content, even though Google doesn’t impose the same restriction on Apple or use the technology in the YouTube Android app. Microsoft calls this a “manufactured” issue, and states Google is specifically targeting them. Next, Google is none too pleased that the app is branded as “YouTube” on the Microsoft app market, even though the description clearly states that the app was not built by Google or a Google product.
Microsoft has taken its beef with Google to the public arena with a blog post released called “The limits of Google’s openness“, which outlines Microsoft’s belief that Google is specifically targeting Microsoft and its competing platform. Google has yet to respond to this blog post.
However, Google is a private company (meaning not government owned), and YouTube, just like even Google search, is their product to do what they see fit with. It’s hard to imagine not being able to use Google search, as it’s become so ubiquitous with our daily lives, but technically Google could yank Google search from all competing devices that aren’t running Android. They likely won’t, since every search on any platform drives their revenue stream. But the point isn’t if Google should, it’s if Google could, and the answer is “yes”.
However, I do also see Microsoft’s point, especially on the HTML 5 requirement. If Google’s own engineers aren’t doing it, but Google states that Microsoft must use it for a sufficient experience, then is Google telling me that their iOS and Android experience is subpar? This seems a little bullying on Google’s part..
Either way, Microsoft has a lot more apps to worry about than just YouTube if they plan on being a serious contender in the market. As for Windows Phone users, looks like you’ll have to rely on Internet Explorer a bit longer for YouTube.