Microsoft today said Google executives have blocked a full-featured YouTube app for Windows Phone, via a blog post from one of its chief lawyers.
But the YouTube issue is not a new one; Microsoft has complained about this issue to regulators multiple times since 2010. YouTube clients for Android and iPhone have fuller search, favorites and ratings capabilities, while YouTube for Windows Phone is basically a wrapper for the mobile Web version of the site because it doesn’t have access to full APIs.
What’s new is that Microsoft is now claiming that people at YouTube are in favor of helping provide a good Windows Phone experience, but senior Google executives recently told them not to do so.
Wrote Dave Heiner, Microsoft VP and deputy general counsel,
Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers. As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device – to have a great YouTube experience. But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones.
What’s odd about Microsoft’s claims is that there is already a full YouTube app for another Microsoft product: Xbox. That was released this past August, and touted by Google and YouTube PR.
The Xbox app was part of YouTube’s new platform strategy to be more in control of the user experience and advertising on its apps. Other new apps in that group include PS3, iPhone and iPad. The question is whether YouTube really wants to get there, but is being prevented from doing so by its Google overlords, as Microsoft claims — or whether there is another reason YouTube hasn’t done it. Perhaps Windows Phone’s tiny market share may not be enough to make it a priority.
Google did not have an immediate comment on the matter.
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