Google executives are refusing to allow Windows Phone access to YouTube, says Microsoft

By Kip Kniskern | Posted January 2, 2013 28 comments

Youtube-LogoIn a post on the Microsoft on the Issues blog, VP and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner today fired another barrage aimed at Google, lamenting the apparent deal upcoming between the Federal Trade Commission and Google, and claiming that Google’s practices continue to be bad for business, specifically in an instance involving Windows Phone and YouTube.

In the post, Heiner reiterates that Microsoft has a “high quality YouTube app” ready (and has since at least March, 2011, when an earlier blog post complained about Google’s unfair search practices in Europe, but that Google won’t let it happen.  From that earlier blog post, as quoted in today’s post:

Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.”

In today’s post, Heiner goes on to assert that the refusal to allow Microsoft access to YouTube for its Windows Phone app is anti-competitive and harmful:

Google often says that the antitrust offenses with which it has been charged cause no harm to consumers. Google is wrong about that. In this instance, for example, Google’s refusal deprives consumers who use competing platforms of a comparable experience in accessing content that is generally available on the Web, almost all of which is created by users rather than by Google itself.

Microsoft further asserts that although it has been working with YouTube engineers for two years, the refusal to allow access is coming from higher up:

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.

Google isn’t quite out of the woods yet with the FTC, and Microsoft is apparently looking to continue to apply pressure to Google, the FTC, and the Justice Department to force Google into opening up its APIs more broadly.  If it does, we may finally get a decent YouTube app on Windows Phone, and if not, according to Microsoft, we’ll know who to blame.

Posted January 2nd, 2013 at 10:38 am
Category: News
Tags: Google, Windows Phone, YouTube
  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

    Clearly “Don’t be evil” doesn’t apply to any chance to screw over Microsoft and it’s the kind of behavior that will get them a slap from the DoJ and FTC much like Microsoft did in the 90’s.

  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

    Clearly “Don’t be evil” doesn’t apply to any chance to screw over Microsoft and it’s the kind of behavior that will get them a slap from the DoJ and FTC much like Microsoft did in the 90’s.

  • Stefanfo

    Where has the “Do No Evil” motto gone?

    I wish I could forget about YouTube, and use vimeo instead, come on people, switch to vimeo!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stefan.nordendal Stefan Nordendal

    Where has the “Do No Evil” motto gone?

    I wish I could forget about YouTube, and use vimeo instead, come on people, switch to vimeo!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DMPNESS5F46SOQWWXHL4QECO54 Juanito Tantan

    Google and Apple are s&**( on their pants with the release of Windows8 and WindowsPhone8. MS is developing software for all platforms to use MS services and both companies don’t want to approve different apps. DoJ limitations on MS expired last year from now on they should expect a no hostages approach from MS.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DMPNESS5F46SOQWWXHL4QECO54 Juanito Tantan

    Google and Apple are s&**( on their pants with the release of Windows8 and WindowsPhone8. MS is developing software for all platforms to use MS services and both companies don’t want to approve different apps. DoJ limitations on MS expired last year from now on they should expect a no hostages approach from MS.

  • Generalkidd

    Lol for once, Microsoft is the victim. People have always been complaining about Microsoft using proprietary API’s and other standards such as ActiveSync, but at least Microsoft shares its API’s with others. I’m surprised Google even refused to let Microsoft use its Youtube API’s. What’s Google afraid of? Are they afraid that if they give consumers more reasons to switch to Windows Phone, it’ll threaten Android’s marketshare? Google is supposed to be all about open standards.

    • http://www.facebook.com/iain.simpson.127 Iain Simpson

      They are very afraid that WP will kill of android slowly, WP grew almost 4X’s the rate of android in 2012. Windows and other MS products just simply are better and outshine anything google offers.

  • Generalkidd

    Lol for once, Microsoft is the victim. People have always been complaining about Microsoft using proprietary API’s and other standards such as ActiveSync, but at least Microsoft shares its API’s with others. I’m surprised Google even refused to let Microsoft use its Youtube API’s. What’s Google afraid of? Are they afraid that if they give consumers more reasons to switch to Windows Phone, it’ll threaten Android’s marketshare? Google is supposed to be all about open standards.

    • http://www.facebook.com/iain.simpson.127 Iain Simpson

      They are very afraid that WP will kill of android slowly, WP grew almost 4X’s the rate of android in 2012. Windows and other MS products just simply are better and outshine anything google offers.

  • Tom B. Taker

    Now why does Microsoft’s complaint sound so eerily familiar? Oh yeah, that’s right. Microsoft invented it.

  • http://twitter.com/shoutabyss Tom B. Taker

    Now why does Microsoft’s complaint sound so eerily familiar? Oh yeah, that’s right. Microsoft invented it.

  • aftoy

    Tit for tat. Seems MS not allowing Chrome and other browsers to hook into WP8 APIs, only allowing browser functionality, of course MS not acknowledging they are doing the same.

    • http://www.facebook.com/iain.simpson.127 Iain Simpson

      when you know what you are speaking about come back.

      • aftoy

        “First, Microsoft has a browser that runs in Classic mode on Windows ARM. They are not allowing us that same access to run our browser on Classic. Second, Microsoft has a browser that runs in Metro mode on Windows ARM that has access to rich APIs that they are denying to third-party Metro browsers on Windows ARM,” Dotzler told CNET. “So, we are denied the ability to deliver any browser on Classic, and we are denied the ability to build a competitive browser on Metro.” Dotzler also elaborated on the issue in a first and second blog post.

        http://cnet.co/IV4Zvs

  • aftoy

    Tit for tat. Seems MS not allowing Chrome and other Goog apps to hook into WP8 APIs, only allowing browser functionality, of course MS not acknowledging they are doing the same.

    • http://www.facebook.com/iain.simpson.127 Iain Simpson

      when you know what you are speaking about come back.

      • aftoy

        “First, Microsoft has a browser that runs in Classic mode on Windows ARM. They are not allowing us that same access to run our browser on Classic. Second, Microsoft has a browser that runs in Metro mode on Windows ARM that has access to rich APIs that they are denying to third-party Metro browsers on Windows ARM,” Dotzler told CNET. “So, we are denied the ability to deliver any browser on Classic, and we are denied the ability to build a competitive browser on Metro.” Dotzler also elaborated on the issue in a first and second blog post.

        http://cnet.co/IV4Zvs

  • ManDown

    Remember when Microsoft used to serve old CSS files to Opera browser users for its MSN website so that it would look like a 90’s website on Opera and thus discouraging people from using it. What goes around comes around, Microsoft !

    • NicolaMantovani

      i don’t think that’s really the reason, no one cares about competition from opera, and I say that as a 9 year opera user (who recently switched to chrome because in the last couple years opera takes one step forward in user interface and functionality, and two backwards about bugs and slugginess)

  • ManDown

    Remember when Microsoft used to serve old CSS files to Opera browser users for its MSN website so that it would look like a 90’s website on Opera and thus discouraging people from using it. What goes around comes around, Microsoft !

    • NicolaMantovani

      i don’t think that’s really the reason, no one cares about competition from opera, and I say that as a 9 year opera user (who recently switched to chrome because in the last couple years opera takes one step forward in user interface and functionality, and two backwards about bugs and slugginess)

  • RoxEroX

    Google sees WinPhone as a threat to their malware infested Droidie phonies. Why do they allow Window based PCs access Utube? Google wants to register all those cellphone numbers…. they want to telemarket you as soon as their lobbyists grease the skids with all that offshore bucks they are hiding away.

  • RoxEroX

    Google sees WinPhone as a threat to their malware infested Droidie phonies. Why do they allow Window based PCs access Utube? Google wants to register all those cellphone numbers…. they want to telemarket you as soon as their lobbyists grease the skids with all that offshore bucks they are hiding away.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iain.simpson.127 Iain Simpson

    Google needs to get there balls strung up for the evil that they do in the business world, it is about time they are held accountable for all this just as MS were.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iain.simpson.127 Iain Simpson

    Google needs to get there balls strung up for the evil that they do in the business world, it is about time they are held accountable for all this just as MS were.

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Google’s hypocrisy is a disgrace, and it’s users who ultimately suffer most from such outrageous anti-competitive practices by malignant tax-avoiding corporations.

    For over a decade, Google has been the self-proclaimed champion of “open”. The corporation has spent ten years feigning self-serving support for “open standards” and “open source” and “open data” and “open APIs” etc. The perceived trendiness of “open” can be largely attributed to Google’s support. But for Google “open” has always been a convenient falsehood — little more than a stick with which to beat commercial rivals, especially Microsoft and more recently Apple. The reality is, of course, that Google only cares about “open” as and when it suits their own narrow corporate agenda.

    What makes Google’s blatant monopolistic and antitrust practices all the more comical is that this two-faced corporation has been at the forefront of the campaign against Microsoft for antitrust, even succeeding in persuading the lamentable EU to force Microsoft to prompt all users with an option to install rival software! Google and Apple achieved this nonsensical assault against MS with help from Google’s “non-profit” glove-puppet and wholly-owned subsidiary, Mozilla, who made much play of their Firefox browser. (Google then promptly stabbed Mozilla in the back by launching their own browser and revealing their true and typically self-serving motives for undermining IE.)

  • http://www.timacheson.com/ Tim Acheson

    Google’s hypocrisy is a disgrace, and it’s users who ultimately suffer most from such outrageous anti-competitive practices by malignant tax-avoiding corporations.

    For over a decade, Google has been the self-proclaimed champion of “open”. The corporation has spent ten years feigning self-serving support for “open standards” and “open source” and “open data” and “open APIs” etc. The perceived trendiness of “open” can be largely attributed to Google’s support. But for Google “open” has always been a convenient falsehood — little more than a stick with which to beat commercial rivals, especially Microsoft and more recently Apple. The reality is, of course, that Google only cares about “open” as and when it suits their own narrow corporate agenda.

    What makes Google’s blatant monopolistic and antitrust practices all the more comical is that this two-faced corporation has been at the forefront of the campaign against Microsoft for antitrust, even succeeding in persuading the lamentable EU to force Microsoft to prompt all users with an option to install rival software! Google and Apple achieved this nonsensical assault against MS with help from Google’s “non-profit” glove-puppet and wholly-owned subsidiary, Mozilla, who made much play of their Firefox browser. (Google then promptly stabbed Mozilla in the back by launching their own browser and revealing their true and typically self-serving motives for undermining IE.)