Google Blocks Windows Phone YouTube App Again

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Microsoft and Google just can’t agree on what makes for a suitable YouTube app

Google has blocked Microsoft from publishing a Windows Phone YouTube app, just days after the software went live.

The YouTube owner claims Microsoft is not doing enough to bring the full experience to users, even though fresh features were added to the software when it was released this week.

Nokia Lumia 1020 © Windows Phone Central“Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service,” a Google spokesperson told various press organisations.

Google complaints over YouTube app

The app returned to the Windows Store three days ago, after Google had previously forced Microsoft to remove the app. Google had complained about the ability of the app to download videos and the blocking of ads.

In May, Google went as far as to issue Microsoft with a “cease and desist” letter, demanding it withdraw the YouTube app

Microsoft had taken people by surprise launching the app in the first place, as it had been complaining to both the European Commission and the US Federal Trade Commission that Google was blocking it.

The new app was thought to have been created in collaboration with Google, yet it has still upset the tech titan.

Microsoft isn’t happy either. HTML5 appears to be a key issue, as Google has asked the app be based on the language, even though it hasn’t been implemented on the iOS or Android versions.

“We made a decision this week to publish our non-HTML5 app while committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5,” read a post from David Howard, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for litigation and antitrust at Microsoft.

“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.

“We are quite confident that we can solve this issue if Google cooperates, but fixing Google’s concern here is entirely within Google’s control. If Google stops blocking our app, we are happy to work with them on this, entirely at Microsoft’s expense.

“We think it’s clear that Google just doesn’t want Windows Phone users to have the same experience as Android and Apple users, and that their objections are nothing other than excuses… we once again request that Google stop blocking our YouTube app.

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Originally published on eWeek.

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