Google demands Microsoft pull Windows Phone YouTube app by next week

May 15, 2013
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Google demands Microsoft pull Windows Phone YouTube app by next week

On January 2, Microsoft's Vice President Dave Heiner posted a rather lengthy admonishment of Google on TechNet, claiming the company is intentionally trying to harm Windows Phone, with one of the biggest reasons cited being the lack of a full-feature mobile YouTube app, forcing the company to offer a weaker sub-par option. Not to be deterred, Microsoft pressed forward and released a far better offering last week, with one notable difference: a lack of advertisements.

According to Heiner's statements earlier this year, Google purposely passed down commands to YouTube to keep Windows Phone from having the same full-blown app iOS and Android users enjoy. "But just last month we [at Microsoft] learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."

Fast-forward nearly six months, and Google has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft, demanding that the YouTube application be pulled and disabled on handsets by next Wednesday, May 22. This is due to two reasons: the lack of advertisements, and the ability to download videos that have been marked as unavailable for those accessing on smartphones and tablets. According to the letter, the lack of ads and download feature are harming the YouTube "content ecosystem" and decreasing ad revenue.

The claims aren't bothering Microsoft, it would seem, with the Windows Phone YouTube app remaining available. Shortly after news of the cease-and-desist surfaced, Microsoft responded with a candid, if not somewhat biting, statement: "We'd be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs. In light of Larry Page's comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers."

In light of the accusations Heiner made earlier this year, such a response from Microsoft isn't surprising. The question now is how Google will respond, which we'll have to wait for until next week (assuming the app remains). Microsoft may elect to keep the app available and to allow it to remain functional on users' devices, which is suggested by its response.

SOURCE: ars technica


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