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YouTube App: Google v Microsoft

Posted on Tuesday, 20th August 2013 by

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Microsoft is back in the ring again but this time their fight is with Google over the YouTube app for the Windows Phone platform. Users have been blocked from watching videos using the app because it violates its terms of service.

The issue has arisen after Google requested that the app should be made using HTML5 code language which Microsoft has been unable to do. Microsoft has said the issues have been created and that Google are deliberately hindering the Windows Phone platform.

Google have been asked to lift the block by Microsoft’s lawyers as Google’s objections are not in line with Google’s own commitment of openness and that Google have imposed requirements for the Windows Phone app which are not mirrored in the app on Android; Google’s own platform, or Apple platforms. They added “The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it.”

Google have defended their actions in a statement saying that Microsoft were required to make browser upgrades to enable a fully feature YouTube experience which it did no do and instead Microsoft re-released an app which violates the terms and service so has subsequently been disabled.

The Windows Phone platform although it ranks third after Apple and Android as the most used phone operating system the gap between the Windows Phone and the giants of Apple and Android is still quite significant and therefore there are fewer apps available for Windows Phone. Microsoft is investing their own resources to bring key services to Windows Phone users including the creation of a YouTube app.

After launching their first attempt at a YouTube app it was blocked by Google in May as they claimed the app failed to display adverts correctly. Following this the companies agreed to work together to create a new version, however Google were now insistent that this should be created using HTML5 code.

The request was termed as “odd” by Microsoft’s lawyer David Howard who also stated that it was unfair to Microsoft as neither the iPhone or Android YouTube apps are built on HTML5, which experts have agreed would be technically difficult and time-consuming.


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