Back to Square one: In depth details about the Microsoft-Google Youtube app discrepancies

This week it was reported that the two tech giants had reached an agreement and were to soon release the long awaited official YouTube app for Windows Phone. According to The Verge, Google wasn’t amused when Microsoft issued an updated app earlier this week. Google also confirmed to them that it was yet again to block the app. Despite the both companies working on the  YouTube app, Microsoft insists that Google’s decision to block the app is nothing other than excuses.


HTML5 Wrangles

It should be noted that the Android and iPhone YouTube apps are both based on native code. Now Google is asking Microsoft to change their app to a new code language– HTML5 although Microsoft wants to be on par with the Android and iPhone equivalents. It appears there are technical limitations in Windows Phone that are preventing Microsoft from building the YouTube HTML5 version.

“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 with Android and iPhone users are getting, claims. The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it.”

— Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard

Is it the ads?

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When Microsoft released its original app back in July, they added a feature that lets its users download YouTube videos, a decision  which Google strongly objected. As part of the reason that Google gave in order for Microsoft to pull the app off its Store, was lack of ads. But Microsoft never removed the app from the Windows Phone Store, they however updated the app to remove the download option, and later they agreed the app would be removed to facilitate both companies working on a new version.  The new app now has ads support, but Google claims that the ads haven’t been implemented in the way they wants them displayed.

“We’ve asked Google to provide whatever information iPhone and Android get so that we can mirror the way ads are served on these platforms more precisely. So far at least, Google has refused to give this information to us. ”

— Microsoft deputy general counsel David Howard

Branding and a degraded experience

The council also calls out Google over its concerns for branding and a degraded experience, noting that Microsoft previously shipped a simple YouTube app for Windows Phone that redirected users to the mobile version of the service. “If Google were truly concerned about a degraded experience, it would allow our users access to the new YouTube app they love,” says Howard. The accusations and frustrations are hard to ignore, and it’s clear there’s a bitter war of control and ecosystems being played out behind closed doors. Howard finishes his note with a simple plea: “we once again request that Google stop blocking our YouTube app.”

Sources: Microsoft Blog, The Verge