Google’s problem with Windows Phone
371

Google’s problem with Windows Phone and does it matter?

In a recent interview Google stated they will not devote any resources to making apps for either Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. They have also now ceased consumer support for ActiveSync.  Some are calling it ‘war’ while others passionately question if Windows Phone can survive without Google products and services.

The relationship between Google and Microsoft has always been somewhat hostile. In many ways the battle they engage in now can be seen as a kind of echo from a distant technological past. Google have dug in their heels and to some degree shown their true colours by declaring zero support for Microsoft’s newest operating systems, Windows Phone and Windows 8.

But does it matter and has anything really changed?

Core Microsoft Services

I mentioned an echo of previous battles past as it is by looking back that we get a good measure of the forces that have shaped the Google of today. It is impossible to talk of Google’s plans and current product line up without talking about Eric Schmidt. He has been at war with Microsoft for most of his long career, manning the defiant guns at both Sun Microsystems and Novell, two of Microsoft’s previously biggest competitors. Both of those companies have fallen by the wayside but Eric Schmidt has perhaps never stopped fighting that war, he is a true veteran of this on-going conflict.

"They [Google] realised long ago that it was not enough to exist as a semi-parasitic add-on for Microsoft Windows or to only live in a browser.."

Eric Schmidt was put in charge of Google to guide the young company through the painful early years and during that time he has moulded the company into what it is today. This is a company that matches Microsoft product-for-product in almost every category. Even though Google is a search company at its core it has invested time and money into developing its own operating system (Android, Chrome) and even a productivity suite. So transfixed with competing with Microsoft often they are happy to dump them in the marketplace for free, Google Docs is a perfect example of this.

There are of course many reasons why Google has chosen to make its own operating systems, they realised long ago that it was not enough to exist as a semi-parasitic add-on for Microsoft Windows or to only live in a browser.  As an advertising company it is their goal to know as much about you as possible. When it came to Desktop Windows, users didn’t feel too comfortable with Google Search riffling through their files on the hard drive. No, they needed to build their own OS and bake in this data collection from the get go. A new delivery system to ensure their supply of user information is never cut off or restricted was required, hello Android OS.

The recent ‘news’ announcement on not committing time or resources to developing for Windows Phone is somewhat disingenuous. Google has no presence on Windows Phone at all (save for a lousy search "app") they have not committed any resources since the platform launched. Google search on Windows Phone is one of the most basic apps available, barely enough to call itself a real app. Perhaps just a placeholder on the Windows Phone Store in case someone else takes their name? Google on Windows Phone is not an app, not by any stretch of the imagination. Why would they bother?

"Does Windows Phone need Google and its services to be successful, no."

So we often hear how Google make apps for Apples iOS devices and that example is held high by many who wish to make something of the lack of Google apps for Windows Phone. Often they fail to explore the real reasons why. The reason why Google is present on iOS is two–fold, it has sufficient numbers of users to data mine and it has a weak collection of service offerings. It is easy for Google to provide alternative search, maps and even mail on Apple’s iOS devices because Apple is either missing entirely some services or doesn’t have the same level of depth in some offerings. It is something Apple has been working hard to rectify but after their maps fiasco backfired so publicly they might be feeling too burnt to try that again. For now, Google will benefit from all the data points that iPhone users will provide as they trundle about using their Google maps platform. Google for the time being have a place on iOS because they can offer Apples users something which Apple cannot itself.

In many ways Microsoft and Google seemingly have something to compete with the other in almost every product field. Both companies by their own endeavours now look staggeringly similar, Search, Mail, Operating Systems, Productivity Software, Mobile and Mapping. Google roll most of their products into the Android platform, this is their delivery system and if you are invested in Google products and services this is where you can find them all. 

On the Microsoft side there is currently no better place to experience the full gamut of Microsoft’s services line-up than what you find Windows Phone. Is it here more than anywhere else that the future betting and eco system play can be seen clearly, Microsoft like Google owns the full stack.

Some Google Services
Google Web Apps

The question has to be asked, where would Google fit onto a device that has Bing search hardwired into a dedicated search button? By integrating Bing into Windows Phone by way of a dedicated physical button Microsoft has clearly determined there is no place for Google search on their newest platform. It’s possible this early first move may have been sufficient to keep Google away from Windows Phone.

"It simply doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Google to offer a compelling set of apps"

Microsoft has invested countless millions into building out an entire web platform to compete with Google, much in the same way Google built its own OS to do the same. As a result Microsoft has a fully realised web eco system, SkyDrive, Office on the Web, Outlook, Bing and MSN to name a few headliners. In many cases they offer a far better experience to Google’s offerings both on the web and on their Android devices.

Two services which get the most attention are Gmail and Google Docs. Does it damage the Windows Phone platform to have to ‘settle’ with Outlook and Office as alternatives? I think not, what Microsoft offers here are both best in class, thanks in no small part to the success of Google Docs and Gmail.

Windows Phone Microsoft Apps and Services
Microsoft apps and services Windows Phone 8

There is no question that Google doesn’t produce fantastic products: search, mail and maps are held high as good examples. At present both companies offer pretty much the same services, in some cases they are better; in some cases they are worse. The problem for Windows Phone is that Microsoft has done such a good job of integrating all their offerings into one device. It simply doesn’t leave much wiggle room for Google to offer a compelling set of apps.

We are moving to a world where these eco systems will finally close, Google is rapidly reaching an inflection point where it may finally be able to shake off Microsoft and Apple. All three tech giants are moving to a place where they simply offer it all, similar to the mega supermarket chains that offer everything from Groceries to Insurance plans.

In time we’ll figure out which one we like best, get the loyalty card and for the most part choose which one we prefer, maybe stray occasionally for a touch of variety. The situation we see with Google and its stance with Windows 8 and Windows Phone could at some point be mirrored when Apple does what Microsoft have and close the gaps in their services.

SkyDrive + Eco System Sync
Eco System Sync - SkyDrive connecting the dots..

The war of course doesn’t end with Windows Phone, Microsoft have far bigger guns to bring into play in this skirmish. Windows 8 has just launched, with that comes an operating system built from the ground up to be the embodiment of Microsoft’s vast eco system.  All of its main services are built right in, Maps, Cloud Storage, Online Store, Xbox, Mail and Bing search. Where is the space for Google to offer something Microsoft cannot?  There is also the highly successful proxy war that Microsoft is holding behind closed doors to secure revenue from device makers selling Android devices.

"Microsoft itself holds the key to Windows Phone becoming a successful platform.."

It is fair for Google to choose to not develop for a platform that doesn’t really need it but suggesting this is because it a lack of users is just hot air. Adding more fuel to the fire Google has now removed the ability to use ActiveSync with its services for consumers (paid Google Apps subscribers can still have access). It is clear they are willing to alienate a huge tract of their user base to drawn the line in the sand with their eco system, if you want to use their stuff you’ll need to go directly to them. Will they use the same strong-arm tactics with Apple when the time comes?  By proxy iOS users are all already loyal Google fans, look at the return of the maps to see how much so.

To hear Google reject Windows 8 is something new. Only time will tell if they have to eat a serious portion of humble pie and build out their offering there.

Does Windows Phone need Google and its services to be successful? No. The fate of Windows Phone and its adoption in the marketplace does not rest in the hands of Google. Microsoft itself holds the key to Windows Phone becoming a successful platform, rapid evolution of its cloud services and integration with the rest of the MS eco system. 

40
loading...
348
loading...
203
loading...
0
loading...

Comments

There are 371 comments. Sign in to comment

Agent-P says:

Very well written article. I have to say you've addressed pretty much every point that would relate to the Microsoft/Google relationship.

And I agree that their success doesn't really depend on each other, but rather how they compete against one another.

DiegoMoBa says:

I have so much stuffed linked to my Gmail account that now I can't make the full switch, I guess I'll always have to sign in using my Gmail account :(

nsg1000 says:

i am concerned about this news yes, and angered. 
 
Maps, who uses maps daily?c
 
Chrome OS, flop.
 
This has changed my relationship with google. Bing is nolonger a curiosity and im now using it and making it a habit, more now learning this.
 
wealthy people dont buy android.
there is no google os on desktops or servers or embedded devices.
 
the parts of google i like work with a browser.
 

I don't think this is ware. Honestly, WP8 has yet to prove itself a worthwhile investment for a company as large as Google. I am sure people will be upset by me saying that, but it's true. Look at what Google has done for the Apple crowd. Took them YEARS, but they are getting the Google services that have long been on Android out to iOS users. If/when more people adopt WP platform, we will see Google support. They are in it for the money and will go where the money is, guaranteed.

bbqrooster says:

Did you read the article?

lubbalots says:

My only gripe is YouTube. Google has a monopoly over it. I think it should be stopped!

xchaser says:

I think that if Microsoft and Apple Block Google from everything, Google will only shine in the Phone market and How long will that last.

bpcooper14 says:

After reading the article, I had one thought.  There was mention of the reason that Google has a number of apps available for Apple because there are services that are either not provided or not as polished as those that google has.  I think that the only reason that Microsoft would want or need google apps in their eco system is to prevent future posturing by google/android.  Users who are completely invested in gmail, google voice, etc. will ultimately be discouraged from buying anything else on the premise that all of those contacts, gmails, etc. wont be able to be ported over from once platform to another in the future.  The google apps enable this carryover to occur from platfom to platform, thus muddying the "productivity" waters.
I've been an android user for 5 years but am watching the growth of the WP ecosystem.  I use gmail, calendar, etc. but don't find that I am so dedicated to any of those services that I wouldn't be able to switch.  This morning I went through and transfered gmail, contacts, calendar events, and files from Drive to SkyDrive rather easily.  I have a separate email that I use for work so the transition for me would be rather painless if/when I decided to change OS's.

pepsijosh says:

The only Google service I want is Google Goggles....or if Microsoft make an equlivant thing!

They already do something similar with Bing Vision.

pepsijosh says:

Bing Vision at the moment can only read Barcodes, Microsoft Tags & QR Codes (which admitivly are probably the most important) It doesn't solve Suduko Puzzles or tell me what random things that I take a picture of are; the only time I ever use Google these days is for how you can upload a picture into images and it tells you what it is and for math (mainly for currency coversions & working out percentages lol), Bing can do some math but it doest always get it, I has to be written perfectly for it to understand where as Google is a bit more user friendly. Apart from that Bing is fine for its Maps & Search.

Random things -- Ah, yes, you are holding a box of Kleenex. That's a bag of Lifesavers. Things you already know.
 
Sudoku puzzles -- Isn't half the fun of the game solving it on your own? I believe they call this cheating.
 
Math -- I can do those things with a calculator and conversion apps too.
 
Not picking on you, just pointing out that Goggles is pretty gimmicky. I tried it back in the day on the EVO, and never found much use for it.

WinFan1 says:

That's what I believe alot of people overlook. Yeah goggles has those things but just how practical are those things?

castano22 says:

The only thing I need is a good YouTube app. I use both Gmail and Outlook so that doesn't matter to me. And as long as i can access Google + through the browser I have no problems not having a Google + app. Google products are cool to have and have nice features but tend to be buggy and completely slow.. I love Google and their products but I also demand quality like Apple has with their products - except Apple Maps. xD

ramrac says:

"though Google is a search company at its core"
 
Correction: Google is an advertisement company at its core.

Neo Nuke says:

+ all of the internets

tendoboy1984 says:

No he is right. Google is primarily a search company that makes its revenue on ads.

I'm in both camps, I love Microsoft but use YouTube (alot) and use Chrome and their search engine. If Bing was nearly as good as Google then maybe I could recommend it. Microsoft needs to buy Vimeo or Hulu if they want to compete with YouTube. I agree Metrotube is great, however nothing like the pure experience and after years of crappy a** IE, considered me scorned. Never will try that junk.

IE10 is legit. Coming from a fellow Chrome fanatic.

tendoboy1984 says:

Hulu is owned by the big content providers (Disney, Fox, etc.), so Microsoft can't buy that out. Plus it has nothing in common with YouTube, which is a community-based video service where users upload their videos. Hulu and YouTube are two completely different things.

jdevenberg says:

I agree with most of what the author has to say.  I used to use Android and was all in with google.  Gmail, GDocs, GVoice, the whole nine yards.  I switched to Windows Phone in late 2010/early 2011 and now have a Winodws RT tab.  I have nearly completely weind myself from google services.  My old Gmail forwards to outlook, I've migrated my contacts and calander, I use the Office Web apps (and now RT apps) instead of google docs, but there is an elephant in the room that need adressing.  YouTube.  Sure, Windows 8 and RT don't need apps as you can just use the browser and that is a perfectly acceptable solution.  What about Windows Phone though?  Sure the movile site is alright, and there are some well made 3rd party apps for Windows Phone, but a realy Google blessed YouTube app is a big hole.  YouTUbe on Android and iOS just works better than the website or 3rd party apps.  For me, its not a deal breaker, but for people who do a lot of YouTubing, it certainly could be.

I doubt Google can create one better than MetroTube. I've tried the native YouTube apps on Android and iOS and neither are as good or feature rich as MetroTube. I am an avid youtuber and it is all that and a bag of chips.

Microsoft has all the means to improve it services to the point that all it's services will be better  than anything that google could offer we are talking about probably the biggest company of software and that at least 50% of the people uses it OS which is the biggest advantage 'cause you can use that to improve even more the experience of a user and make a complete experience.

Luminatic says:

Yes please .. one example: google search againgst bing search. Bing is still in beta in my country - since forever (Since 2009, to be more precise). I mean, come on, Microsoft, take bing out of beta already. Are you asleep?
I can't, for example, narrow my search results by date. In google, I can. And I guess, in non-beta bing versions, I could too (correct me if I'm wrong). So, no reason for me to switch from google search to bing search unless for "political" reasons, unfortunately ...  I could search another alternative, but unfortunately haven't found one that delivers the same good search results as google. So, whether I like it or not, google is, where I live, still the best option for me to search something on the internet. 
gmail is another story for me. I don't have any reason to use it, so I can easily avoid it.

AmilM says:

YouTube is a monopoly. Microsoft should make an alternative or will buy Vimeo.

They already did... it was called MSN Soapbox. It failed, and they killed it off a while back.

Luminatic says:

The above should have been a reply to Lightmoonwolf
 

Backfired in my case. Fact is WP is the superior experience to android in almost every aspect. There are a handful of things Google's offering does better, but the gap is closing fast. I've played around with my wife's Android phone and iPad (first retina one) enough to know that for me it's WP or dumbphone. And last night I used trueswitch to cut the Gmail cord. Once MS builds out Bing Videos I'll be permanently free of skynet.

ejlee072006 says:

I dont use any google products... I dont give a shit...

S_C_B says:

I agree. MS is gonna be the determining factor on whether or not WP is successful. Regardless, I still want Google apps on my Lumia 920. I switch between Android, iOS and WP8 weekly. Oh yeah, I hate the way web pages look in IE. For those of you who think MetroTube is better than an official YouTube, you're crazy. Crazy in a nice way. :-)

robert brand says:

 

Google should be making their apps and services as easy to access on other platforms as possible. They are choosing not to, as they build their empire larger this looks to be the way they are going. They have managed to stay off Windows Phone for two years, do you think that will change anytime soon? It’s annoying but as I said, I don’t think they have much place on Microsoft mobile platform. RB

I said it elsewhere, but Google is actively using the Microsoft 1990's Operations Playbook.
 
This is a company who has gained everything by copying and stealing from others, and now that they're the big dogs in the mobile market, they're using that dominance to STAY dominant. They see Microsoft as as the upcoming competitor that they haven't been able to beat elsewhere in the market (aside from search, which is waning). This is the absolutely textbook definition of anti-trust violations, and it's the same thing Microsoft got in trouble for back in the 1990's. The difference is, Google's actions are actually harming their customers (taking features away that once were free), and Microsoft only hurt competition for companies.
 
Anyway, I have yet to see any evidence that MetroTube is inferior to YouTube on Android. People keep saying it, but they don't offer an explanation why. I think the only comment I've seen so far is about closed captioning.

So if MetroTube were to change its name to YouTube. Would that make it better?

Panu16 says:

I think that Microsoft should find some way to disrupt Google's ad revenue on Windows as a response.  Something like providing ad-blocking by default in IE.  Users have to explicitly opt-in to receive ads.  

Big Supes says:

Nice. Me likey. :)

snuxoll says:

They already send Do-Not-Track headers by default with IE10, which Google honors and disables ad targeting.

If Microsoft can get their head out of their ass and figure out how to execute, this would be good for them. Chances are though, that they won't.
In Vancouver, Bing Maps provides better transit routing than Google Maps. On the desktop, I always choose Bing Maps for my transit directions. On Windows Phone, Bing Maps doesn't support transit directions. Why? Fuck if I know! Nokia Maps does, but Microsoft and Nokia are apparently not pooling their resources, so Nokia's solution doesn't have data for all the locations Bing Maps does. 
Given how Apple Maps got panned, not only for just being crap, but also for not having transit directions, this is actually pretty important. I don't believe Microsoft will do anything to fix it. The worst is, if you try to visit the Bing Maps website with your phone, to be able to access the transit directions, it always shoves you back to the app. You don't have any kind of choice.
For general search, one of the most common modifications I make for eliminating noise in search results is constraining the date. Bing Search still doesn't support this very basic feature.
If Microsoft could make their services better, and improve the experience on Windows Phone, they could convert more people over to using them. As is, they're going to end up making Windows Phone look like a not as good platform.

robert brand says:

Good point, there is a bit of an issue that myself and the team have noticed with Bing Maps and Nokia Maps. The mapping platform that Bing Maps uses is now provided by Nokia but there are obviously some disconnects at present. We hope they will be addressed sooner rather than later. Maps and Navigation are hugely important to Windows Phone and we report on much of what is happening. We will reach out to their Here team and see if we can get an update on this. I agree with you and say as much so in my article, Microsoft needs to continue to deliver on better integration with its eco system. But beyond that it must iterate its key services rapidly too, they have been rapidly improving their services but the client side features are sometimes behind. Currently their web services are good but of course they need to keep at it, the new Calendar is still not rolled out on the web. When it comes to Bing search, I agree it isn’t the most customisable engine but it provides great results and that is where they have aimed it rather that at the power user, I’d like to see that change too. If you have feedback for the Bing team , make yourself heard they have places to submit your ideas/thoughts. RB

AMERICANRAJ says:

Microsoft should buy HULU. And not have ads. Have a public video button and the movie/TV channel. Done.

AMERICANRAJ says:

You kill 2 birds with one stone.

thinkdan says:

Agree.... And maybe I don't need Google.

Godston says:

It all boils down to what environment you’re used to and you just can’t ignore the amount of people who work in the Windows environment. So given the chance to own a mobile device that sync without discrimination, everything you do, business & entertainment wise, WP8 is clearly the better choice in the long run. MS and Nokia did well when they introduced the 920. There is no denying that they raised the bar in what consumers should expect from a flagship cell phone OUT THE BOX. The only fault people can find is the lack of apps, and truthfully, how many of them are truly important & not fads? The FACT is, popular apps will populate the WP8 ecosystem as the platform matures. Will waiting on these apps stop my productivity? No, not one bit. Out The box, the Nokia 920 has everything I need due to its tight integration and AGGREGATION of mobile services. We can thank WP8 OS and Nokia apps for that. Neither Google nor Apple, who has top notch devices out there right now, can boast this accomplishment. Today, all they can tell you is that they have more apps. When all is said and done, I felt no loss by leaving Android behind.   

I'm really loving Windows Phone 8, but I doubt anyone I know would ever go with a Windows Phone. The newer Android devices and the Nexus devices are considerably smoother and faster than Windows Phone and Windows 8 in general. I just got myself a Nexus 7 and my before ultra-fast Lumia 920 now feels slow and some what visually unattractive. I get that some people can see the beauty of a clean and simple icon with no shadows or gradients, but no one I know seem interested in having these huge tiles and no real customization to make them feel at home when they're using their device. Most people just seem to feel like a background and some stunning app icons makes them feel at home and feel like they can just use their device without spending forever looking for something. Personally I couldn't care less about how many applications there's available, but there's no denying that current applications and future applications are no-where near as good as on other platforms.

procen says:

I have a Nexus 7 and you claimed it is faster than Windows Phone 8? I like what you are smoking. Nexus 7 lags and guess what it already caught malware the funny thing is I don't know how I got it. The only thing I can think off is from the Android Market. I know Androids has more than half a million apps 2/3 of it is malware. Btw several of my friends has Nexus and Samsung galaxy tablets and Samsung SG3 when they played with my Nokia 810 everyone said it is so smooth.

There's no denying that future applications are nowhere near as good as on other platforms? Really?

Most of Microsoft's services are either lacking features, slow or just not as powerful as Google's alternatives. To me, Dropbox is simply better than Drive and SkyDrive, because it lets you share files so easily, and I have yet to see anyone using SkyDrive to share their files with the world (download links, add ?dl=1 to dropbox and you have a direct dl).

Internet Explorer (even 10) is unstable and slow. Watching videos on my computer isn't possible without constant lag in IE, but everything seems perfectly fine when using Chrome or any other browser.
 
Bing and other services such as voice and translation are behind Google's services so much that people at my school would rather go to http://google.com/ all the time than use the URL bar to search for something with Bing.

My problems with Hotmail/Outlook are so horrible that I've decided to go with Gmail so I wouldn't lose all of my purchases from the Windows Store, which almost happened a few weeks ago. It took me months to get Microsoft to change my email adress to something other than live.com, which seemed to be bugged and even new emails I created didn't work at all.
 
I know that Microsoft didn't actually make Skype (or at least I don't believe they did) but compared to other similar services it has never been good and unless you use Skype on ALL of your devices at the same time, don't expect Skype to be anything but lag when going between different devices.

bbqrooster says:

I have a completely different experience
1. I have both dropbox and skydrive. I don't find dropbox any better.
2. IE10 is unstable and slow. I actually don't think you have used IE10.
3. I'll give you that on translation. I like Google translation more than Bing translation. I use Google Voice because it is free, nothing else. When Google starts charging, I am out of Google Voice.
4. Have you used outlook.com? If you say outlook.com is horrible, then you are out of your mind.
5. Does Google make Youtube either. Does it matter Microsoft makes Skype or not? Skype lags, Really?

Everything you are spewing is either lies or half truth. My conclusion is that you are just a troll who is insecure about the choice of platform you are using.

So much nonsense from you all over here today. And your problems with Hotmail/Outlook are exactly that, your problems. When I was going to change my e-mail from live.ca to sometime else there were various warnings about how it would mess up my WP/Windows Store experience unless I reset my devices. Try paying a little attention and you'll run into fewer issues.

dogfish54 says:

Damn saying anything intelligent ... all I really want to say is that I've been Scroogled!

RolexDPracer says:

Outside of YouTube there is nothing Google-related I use anyways. Not a big deal for me.

Google knows windows is a threat and they will shut down google and android

futurix says:

The only Google's app for Windows 8 - Google Search is already better than Microsoft's Bing Search app. So at least they are trying in some areas.

Hey, WP fanboys. What a lively dicussion! Per usual though, a lot of "us versus them" talk. Allow me to offer my experience...
Former owner here of a Lumia 920, Lumia 900, Samsung Focus Flash and Samung Focus. Aside from the final straw of a bricked 920, the lack of Google apps on WP8 is in fact a big deal. I was saddened IE10 Mobile was still treated like a WAP-happy browser; Chrome for WP would have been wonderful. With my music in the Play cloud, a legit Play Music app for WP8 would have been great; not a 2-bit gooroovster app. My tags I set on my PC were not read well in Xbox Music when I tried going device-only for my tunes so you know.
Probably one of the worst tragedies was Nokia Maps; just as bad as Apple Maps with missing or completely N/A public transit info I rely on here in Tampa. Even worse, the GPS did not locate me anywhere close to where I reside. The utlity of my all my collective Windows Phone experiences left me desiring for so much more. And I was soooo patient and hopeful! I stuck with Android from May 2010 - January 2011 with that same attitude before giving WP7 a shot. But now I can't reason to stay. Android has finally arrived and iOS of course is already there. I happily pushed WP despite my grievances -- but enough is enough.
Back now on a used iPhone 4 (which I had Jan 2011 - May 2011 funny enough). Waiting to get the dough together for either an iPhone 5 or a Nexus 4; still deciding. I really liked the look and feel of my white Lumia 920; it's such a pretty thing and has other things going for it -- but the important deal-breaking utilities just killed it for me. It was like dating someone hot but with little content on the inside; just wasn't going to last!
 

sixium says:

Oh well. At least you tried.

WinFan1 says:

Sorry your experience was a bad one unfortunately your experience is just that. I have no problem with my Lumia 920 at all. Nor do I need anything from Google at all. Don't hate google but definitely don't need them.

tendoboy1984 says:

I've used Google Maps/Transit and Nokia's HERE Maps & Transit, and I find them to be easily comparable. They both work well for me.

monsterlab1 says:

The main reason that I'll keep my google account instead of moving it all to outlook.com is that google/gmail is the only service (that I know of at least) that offers two-factor authentication. Does anyone know if MS plans to offer two-factor for outlook.com at any point? 

snuxoll says:

The main rationale behind two-factor autho is security in public environments where your password may be sniffed, Microsoft DOES offer the option to sign in with a single use code at the bottom of the Microsoft Account signin page, it will send you a code to your mobile registered to your microsoft account in the security settings that you can login with instead of your password.
Of course, it requires a concious effort to use this, but it addresses the same issue and provides roughly the same level of security assuming your account as a proper password.

gavhamer says:

"This is a company that matches Microsoft product-for-product in almost every category."
Hmmm, not so much.  What Google has achieved in such a short space of time is immense, but Microsoft has at least a dozen billion dollar businesses:
1. System Center - server management
2. Visual Studio - software development
3. Dynamics - CRM and ERP
4. Skype - eponymous
5. SharePoint - collaboration and intranet software
6. Exchange - e-mail and communications
7. Online advertising
8. SQL Server - database software
9. Windows Server - server operating systems
10. XBox - gaming hardware and software
11. Office - not including Office 365
12. Windows (desktop)
At the time the article linked below was written, Windows Phone and Office 365 were not big enough to be included, but perhaps they would be now.
http://www.businessinsider.com/microsofts-billion-dollar-businesses-2011-10
So when the muppet in the phone store tells you that Microsoft are going down the tubes, you can see that he is a clueless muppet of the highest order.
 

Neo Nuke says:

Funny and brilliant

altechi says:

Sold my lumia 920 after a week, partially because of this. I will perhaps go back when windows phone 8 matures

WinFan1 says:

That would assume you actually believe that google isn't developing due to not enough users lol.

addicusbrown says:

If by mature you mean offer Google products, you will never be returning. Google doesn't want to be on it's biggest competitor's hardware and Microsoft has it's own equivalent services and products.

MDak280 says:

Great article, Robert! I've just finished removing myself completely from the Google environment (except youtube :( ) and am pretty glad to be out.
I honestly don't see an alternative to YouTube coming anytime soon,since  YouTube has already established itself as the tube. If people decide they want to post videos somewhere, they go to YouTube. However, that and Calendar are all that Google has. Microsoft's other alternatives are all better, Imo. And Microsoft's Calendar will get better.
 
Btw, Robert, I noticed a small (very small) mistake. "Google for the time being have a place on iOS because they can offer Apples users something which Apple cannot itself." "Apples" should be Apple's.

I have an Android phone for personal use, a Windows Phone for work, and an iPad. I can say without a doubt that SkyDrive is the best cloud service. And Metrotube is the best Youtube client no question.

lubbalots says:

I can personally say I only use one device, my Lumia 920, for all my daily needs. Don't need no digital camera, camcorder, iPod, iPad, android, etc. Though I do need a surface for the full tab/pc experience.

addicusbrown says:

Ditto to lubbalots

Piro.Garay says:

This is a weird question and off the subject but am I seeing a lot of misspelled words lately in the articles? Chrome is spelled "Chome" in the little that I read. After taking journalism in college for a semester, I remember getting our asses chewed-out for typos...

addicusbrown says:

Not really typos. Robert Brand is British and uses the British versions of words vs the American or other varied version many here are accustomed to. Like he said in another comments section a little while back, (paraphrase) they created the language so his usage is perfectly acceptable.

GoSounders says:

Wow, I love all the insightful posts to this article.  Clearly this is a polarizing topic.  The fact is, regardless of which of the services are better, people like Google services whether it is for regional, feature, aesthetics, performance or whatever.  I personally do not use Google services.  Ok, like everyone else, I use YouTube, but only for consumption.  The problem for those of us that use Windows Phone, Bing, Outlook, SkyDrive, Office, Windows 8, and all the other software and services that WP supports, we have lost one.  An important one.  One that many people considering moving to WP will want.  Now the barrier to entry for those users is higher.  This sucks for us on WP as fewer Google users(1) will move to WP.  This will keep the WP market share lower which leads to fewer apps which leads to the dark side.  Or is that anger leads to hate which leads to the dark side.  I always get confused about that.

 

From the Google perspective, why would you want to support a smart phone platform that, let’s face it, holds such a small market share and that, base on some of the disparaging remarks toward Google on this article's posts, consists primarily of non-Google users.  If that were not enough, Google does not want users moving to WP8, they want them buying Android where they can make more money off them.  I get the decision even if I don’t like it.  That explains why Google is backing away from WP.

 

But Windows 8?  A huge percentage of Google users access Google services on Windows.  With this decision, Google will be alienating a big portion of their user base.  This, IMHO, is a big mistake.  If I were a Google user, I’d be upset that Google is not going to support the platform I use to access the services they provide.  And, the decision appears to me to be based on noncompetitive reasoning. This might be just the thing to turn users off of Google products.  Maybe even in large numbers.

 

Full disclosure, I don’t use Google products (save YouTube) because I personally don’t want Google taking my personal information and selling it (even though it may be anonymised).  I find it a bit creepy when I get a personal email from a friend giving me advise on a TV tuner card for my PC and then having a Hauppauge WinTV ad on my web search.  No, I’m not blind to the fact that most companies incorporate this business model, but for Google this is their heart and soul.  That’s just me and my preference, my opinion.

 

(1) - As we all know Google customers are not those that use their services. Their users are their products.  Their customers are advertisers who buy all Google’s user data and advertise to them.

 

If it wasn't for Microsoft Google wouldn't exist! So let them pull out and do their own thing! I personally think the Google Chrome OS is a joke and never see it going anywhere other being used for a browser... I am only saying that because I personally believe everything popular is driven by PC gamers... Google could find developers to build an empire of games but they would generate hate in the gaming world.. Exclusive gaming apps have always helped the PC and Gaming market! I probable would have jumped over to Apple years ago but their gaming support sucked! I am addicted to using Google for all my desktop searches but since I upgraded to my new Lumia 920 I been mainly using Bing without feeling like I was missing anything... I still use Chrome browser on my desktop because it has more features the IE still... And I use Chrome on my iPad3 just think if Anything Google should be proud because they do make an amazing browser experience.

zishbu says:

I said it before and I'll say it again... Microsoft I will change to outlook.com if you'll please let me edit my Primary account. I would change my primary account to myname@outlook.com from myname@google.com tomorrow. My accounts are linked why can't I do this?

gman1868 says:

Buh-bye google. I can live without your apple wannabe arrogance and your attempt to infiltrate my privacy. Take your crappy apps and your hipster attitude and go away.

DoeByrd1988 says:

Google is some garbage for real, I also, only like YouTube for the majority.

MrUniq says:

I don't think MS needs Google, but MS needs to get it's act together with Windows Phone. I use gmail for mostly business purposes and even after owning an Android device for years...I don't really use their ecosystem so I'm pretty flexible moving between both quite easily. BUT..MS has been slow to compete with Android on features. I don't understand why MS just hasn't bought MetroTube, it's a perfectly serviceable app for Youtube..even if google changes the API's..figure it out. Also, where in the heck is a competitive turn by turn offering? Bing maps can't hold a candle to google maps..and Nokia Drive isn't the solution. Plus MS needs to make whatever push it needs to get the most basic apps into it's ecosystem. Where's Pandora, where is Spotify, where is DropBox...we've been promised these forever and no dice.

addicusbrown says:

I am making this to answer your inquiries.
1. Metrotube seems to be doing just fine without big corporate ownership. Not hating on MS but it's okay for little guys to stay little guys. This said, we don't know if MS has given Lazyworm money for development or not. The app is far and beyond any other YouTube experience I have used and easier to navigate tuan the actual YouTube desktop version. I would also like to say YouTube was not created or improved by Google so they get props for buying properly, but not creation. Also if MS were to openly purchase MetroTube, Google would wage war and shut it down.
2. Google Maps beats Bing Maps / Nokia Maps, Drive and Transport for only one reason to me - it comes in one single application and is integrated seamlessly. This is a gigantic reason and one many WP users have spoken on. The fact Nokia gives you 3 when they can give you one complete solution is madness to the end user.l, but may be they were included in that European Union antitrust case Microsoft felt the decade long sting of or at least want to avoid it ever happening. Also, Nokia Maps on WP8 doesn't allow multiple layers so I can't get satellite and traffic view together. I prefer Bing Maps. Drive works just find for me and gives me the same accuracy that Google Maps, Garmin, Navigon, etc.. Do and I am on the road a lot. I will say each one has an area it doesn't navigate well.
3. Spotify, Pandora, etc... most of these are created by Apple or Google fan boys. As a user of Windows Mobile through the 6.5 version I experienced their wrath. We were constantly asking the developers to give us a version of their software and met with the we don't support Microsoft replies. This war has been brewing at the ground level for many years. There are great solutions that are alternative to those you mention. Even the Apple Centric and Google biased web community has said Xbox Music streaming is a top notch solution and the best value. Nokia Music is solid also. 3rd party options such as Slacker are available and they are cross platform. I don't understand if it has to be a common brand name for Windows Phone when none of the services were common brand names when created for Android or iOS. The idea is to have feature rich, stable and beautiful applications that integrate into the system you are using.
4. Skydrive and the seamless integration of it has pretty much stopped Dropbox development for WP. Skydrive gives you more out of the box storage, is free, works well and you don't randomly have your files disappear like on Dropbox. Many 3rd party apps allow for you to access both applications, especially e-readers. In this case, the bigger developer and OS maker actually did a better job than a dedicated 3rd party. We should be applauding MS for a job well done and not stabbing it. Dropbox can give us an app and try to compete with Skydrive on WP8. The API is free and easy to find. The same for Pandora and Spotify. Red Bull had no problem finding it and creating a beautiful, in depth app with music, video and reading content.

MrUniq says:

BTW Google's rhetoric about Windows 8 is pure BS. They have support for Windows....Music upload, Google Drive, Google search bar..it's not like there isn't anything there. Once Windows 8/9 becomes the majority share they will be making apps for Windows just like they are falling over themselves to provide services to iOS.

bilzkh says:

Microsoft needs to drive people away from Google's services (i.e. GMail, Search, Maps, etc), and draw them to Microsoft. Having to take this direction (in order to strengthen Windows adoption in the mobile sphere) is a no-brainer, there is no other way given Google's refusal to open any of its services to Windows 8/RT/Phone. How this has to be done is going to be very difficult, and it is going to take some time, but I think it can be done provided Microsoft pushes through aggressively and competently.
 
Natively baking Bing Search and Maps into Windows 8 and RT should be the first serious step, in addition to rapidly improving those services to better compete with Google Search and Maps. Sure, baking it natively and having people use it by default is great, but they'll need to ensure that Bing is improved upon both frequently, and noticeably.
 
Secondly, Outlook.com is a superb service, Microsoft needs to push it further and wider. Have banners on popular websites (especially YouTube) with labels such as "Move your contacts from Gmail to the best free email service on the web, Outlook!" It'll take a few years, but this is one of the ways to really eat into Gmail's userbase of normal people looking for reliable and easy to use email.
 
Enhance Office Web Apps further, leave no excuse for people to use Google Docs, and we enthusiast users should (where possible) push our colleagues to use OWA whenever Google Docs is brought up, be aggressive, say it sucks and OWA is just way better. If we do it, our colleagues might carry it further and so on, it can be contagious...

MrUniq says:

I agree...I don't think Google has the monopoly on services that people claim. The onus is really on MS to improve their own alternative services to be competitive. They have a head start in some (games, music) but lag far behind on some of the basics.

astraith says:

I have longed believed that Microsoft has done such a good job with it's core apps -- Bing, Maps, Mail, Browser, and Office -- that it hurts it's market place. Look at Android and iOS for instance. Yes, Safari on iOS is decent, but there are several features missing (and Apple knows this, they add them every year to make the list smaller). So iOS users go somewhere else to find the features they want. Same with the Android's original Browser, which I believe to be the worst browser known to man. Opera, Dolphin and even Google's Chrome are three browsers that have flown in and saved the day for Android users. WP7/WP8? IE9, and now IE10, are top notch. They are fast, they render pages great and are decent with HTML5 standard. Really, how can anyone improve on where MS has failed?
 
Same goes with the other apps. Although the Mail app does miss some features -- but I don't even know what those are because I don't need them. And I suspect, most users don't. So I agree -- Microsoft doesn't need Google, but this is a sting none the less.

chrgeorgeson says:

There is one major problem with thinking that these services don't matter. 
MS wants new smartphone users but they also want to entice all the Android and iOS users over as well. 
If I'm an Android user who really likes Gmail services on my phone would I move over to WP? probably not, google maps... probably not the list goes on and on. 
Apple can say "Hey we have the offical Gmail app, and we just got the incredible Google Maps application as wel!" 
Windows phone "If you buy the Lumia then you get the great Nokia Drive app, there is the integrated Nokia Maps as well.....I swear it's just as good as Google Maps...... really it is."
This is really just more of the same problems that is wrong with WP in general the apps aren't fully there yet. I love that there are 3rd party developers that make up for this but people take comfort in the fact that they can just get the Youtube app, the Google Voice App, Google Maps, etc. 
We can say that this doesn't matter but that really just means it doesn't matter to you.... Android owns over 70% of the market and if you don't think it matters you are the minority. 
I love WP but Android is getting more fleshed out every year.... if Google keeps releasing subsidized phones for $200 off contract then it's really going to be hard for me to ignore that. 
I hope, as we all do, the WP will succeed but MS needs to move fast. 

addicusbrown says:

Please realize Apple is doing everything possible to move away from Google also. Apple Maps just failed, unlike Bing Maps or the Nokia solutions. Microsoft is better at software than Apple so they can get away from Google, where Apple is stuck for now. Apple has always used Google's hand me downs on the desktop and mobile platforms. Apple hates Google. Don't lump them together. The only common goal they share is the destruction of Microsoft. Still they would rather do it without the other. Microsoft makes so much money off Android based products on the commercial and consumer sides of business that they are an unowned subsidiary. Nothing like a company getting big off your patents and having to pay you for it!

Xaphoon148 says:

My Google account are now deleted, evaporated, lost in space and forever gone...

FiQ says:

Goodbye google!
Come on now Microsoft.
Bing just need some work with details like "search by date/country etc"
On the youtube side you got some work to do.

Google it's time to say goodbye!

cowboy620 says:

Bing works fine for me. I just use google for uploading videos to or using search for fixes I've seen micro techs do this as well.

Dragone says:

I don't give a fuck about google.

cowboy620 says:

I think Microsoft will come out on top in the end, and apples gonna crash and burn.

rayd1994 says:

Man the only thing I use for Google is Gmail and YouTube that's it. Doesn't matter for me if they makes apps for Windows Phone.

lkwaijunior says:

I just want to say that the placement of photos and graphics in this post particularly awesome.

Love seeing your work WPC!

WPCrook says:

I wish Google continuing success with Android, but I won't blame Google for being scared when Microsoft become No. 2 lol.

Mizmo says:

I really would love to use skydrive....but it's just too f***ing slow!
I don't know how it is in the USA, but  here in Luxembourg (Europe, google if you don't know) my download and upload speed is ~370kB/s. Dropbox and Google Drive are 10x+ faster. I have a 100Mbit/50Mbit connection at home and dual Gbit at University, so that shouldn't be the problem and there is no speed option in the application settings. 

addicusbrown says:

Connecting to SkyDrive can be slow, but not navigating it or uploading / downloading from it. Dropbox seemed fast until I had to upload or download. This is what actually fueled me to move all my files from Dropbox to SkyDrive a year ago. Also, not having a dedicated app when it was clearly possible.

Mizmo says:

No as said upload/download is slow. On my 920 i don't mind but syncing multiple GBs on laptop/desktop is just too slow. After editing a 150mb Word document it takes ~7minutes to finish syncing. I compared it with GDrive/Dropbox  and both of them are way faster than skydrive. Client or webpage, it's the same...
 
Are you from europe or USA? 
edit: here is a 12 page thread about slow speeds on microsoft answers forum
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/skydrive-wlsettings...
but got locked beacause "it's become too long and difficult to manage"...lol

addicusbrown says:

I'm from the US. I can only speak of my experiences here and I find the syncing, ul & dl faster than Dropbox. I have never used Google's Drive. Neither SkyDrive or Dropbox are fast enough to me, but SkyDrive is faster and easier to manipulate for file reorganization and retrieval.

Coan says:

Breaking sync was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I was a proud user of googles products and even have a grandfathered apps account, but I know where I have to stand in this war between competitors as a WP user who will likely never switch to Android. Aside from calendar, I enjoy using all of microsofts products more and i'm glad I'm making the switch in the long run.
Though downloading a few years worth of my domain based email to my email client and then uploading back to outlook and re-sorting them is timeconsuming, but necessary due to the fact that google doesn't use folders and I had to switch over the MX record for the live domain to make it active. 

addicusbrown says:

All this fuss over Google when Nike has a Kinect+ Training app on WP8? Let's be real here. Google can't touch Nike and Nike loves us!

just moved to outlook.com, mail, contacts and calendar.
I'm totally independent from Google now... and happy
 

Wow, there are a lot of people here in denial.  Its true, the fate of Windows Phone does not totally rest in Google's hands.  Mostly, its in the hands of 3rd party developers deciding to write apps for WP.  That being said, Google has tremendous influence over consumers, so not having Google services along side Microsoft's will slow adoption quite a bit.  Microsoft would be better served by working with Google, like Apple does.  Yes, Apple and Google are competitors, but they are also customers of each other.  A little known fact is, Apple and Google actually work together a good bit on maps, even though Apple tried their own map solution and failed.
So, I wish Windows Phone good luck.  For anyone going for Windows Phone, you have to be willing to use all of Microsoft's ecosystem, and do without a good bit of third party support.

addicusbrown says:

Most adults do use the majority of Microsoft's system at work and don't even know it. It's not the hard to use problem most people believe and has been. Because the ecosystem is so large, diverse and dare I say, flexible people, you actually have to read and study to learn new things in the Microsoft system and environment. Many people don't want that. I see it everyday!

ScytheNoire says:

The only part I don't like is the change to ActiveSync. If I can no longer sync up my contacts, calendar, and email on my WP8 with Google, then I'll have to drop it and go strictly with Outlook. I liked having the ability to sync up, but if they are taking that away, then they are going to lose a user.

AMERICANRAJ says:

YouTube should have bought Google. Since the only reason people want to use Google for is Youtube.

teomor says:

If Google doesn't support Windows 8 then how come Chrome has an option called "Relaunch Chrome in Windows 8 mode" in the main menu? And it actually works btw...

RayWP7 says:

Meh.  I finally completed my migration away from Google this weekend. Good riddance, it was great while it lasted.

treetownal says:

Bing is growing on me, and I have already switched back to outlook, but this doesn't help WP8 by any means.  People on the fence may not want to drop gmail or switch to skydrive, and my 8x doesn't have a good mapping solution like Nokia's.
The real hope is that WP8 phone sales are strong enough and cause google to reassess.  Does that happen at 20 million devices?  30 million?  I can see the platform hitting 20mm by Q2 but to really move past that mark I think WP8 is going to need google.  Hard to imagine they wouldn't spend the time to make an app for 20mm customers, but this is already some seriously spiteful stuff so who knows.  Obviously they are trying to strangle the nascent platform in its infancy.  

Clice says:

I'm on Android, and I really want to move to WP8. The only down side is that Bing and other location services are not as well supported outside the US. Bing map needs much work!!
Google seems faster at going international. They also offer people to help build and correct the maps (I'm a google mapmaker).

I love my windows phone but, I would love to see atleast Google Map with turn by turn navigation in Windows Phone. Bing/Nokia maps do not provide this facility to all the regions, especially in Japan.

alpagot says:

I've been trying to switch away from google services.  It's not easy to do this if you have your own domain name registered to a MS account (originally done via passwort.net). I can sync mail being sent to a outlook alias setup under my MS domain account (to create a inbox). Does the MS account setup on your domain sync calendars, tasks, contacts... nope... 
I have to go and create a seperate outlook account and link that to the MS domain registered  them but thats still pretty much like having two seperate accounts as far as windows mobile in concerned. So I have to use this 'linked' account or gmail to sync everything else bar e-mail which is painful. Can they not properly merege accounts? 

katakulli says:

yes we have some apps that are better than google ones. but they are not labeled as google.. most people don't use metrotube, metrotalk etc. they want the official youtube app. they don't even look at it. it is not about the quality of the app itself,.. it is about the package and publisher. because of that i think WP or any other mobile OS does need support from google to climb up and get noticed (faster). look at androids market share. look at the stats of google.com or any other mayor google app. everyone knows the youtube app, but they don't know metrotube. they don't want to know. one could write a youtube-app which is 10 times superior to what google offers, but for some people it would remain as an unofficial youtube app and they still would want an app from google instead.
i think, it is way more difficult to go without google, but as a WP user since day one, i hope that MS will prove me wrong.

Tegument says:

The situation we see with Google and its stance with Windows 8 and Windows Phone could at some point be mirrored when Apple does what Microsoft have and close the gaps in their services.
I think we've already seen this begin when they dropped google's map platform on the iphone

As far as google apps go... I'm only really hurting for a G-Drive app.  Stupid 100mb upload limit isn't doing wonders for me.  Metrotube is epic.  Not sure what I'm really missing from Google. 

Fuck google Bing is better :) Lumia 900 Poland 

freshfelicio says:

Mail, calendar, office, skydrive, bing, internet explorer - all better than google. but there is one thing microsoft cant replace: youtube. thats why they developed a youtube app on their own. and thats why google dumped it.

mikithebrain says:

But i love those google stuff, the translation, the search engine, and the email.. I like what MS has, but those are cumbersome and not as user friendly as google's.. And i kinda still hate MS with Windows8 game UNcompatibility..

Ishan Chanda says:

What if microsoft decides to remove all the google services from windows OS and windows phone. And add each and every support to BING search engine. Windows OS is the most used one in each and every term.
Poeple will eventually change to BIng seach. After all service is important. And bing has it all to take the step. Every windows application manufacturer and others will turn away from google.
How about that?????
Is it possible??

yogeshgamerz says:

I Know that

​skydrive is better than google doc

Google search is better than Bing

Gmail and outlook almost same

Microsoft doesn't have YouTube alternative. (vimeo is good too)

Google's android is open source, it means heavily customizable and less secure while Microsoft Windows Phone Platform is less customizable but more secure.

so i decided to go with Microsoft (Windows phone, Windows 8.1 Desktop & Laptop, Xbox 360, Nokia Lumia 520)

 and finally guys avoid my bad english.

 
 

gabrelov says:

It is actually the developers and Nokia who raised sales of WP. Because of great nokia apps, like here maps, city lens and games that I had again upgraded my phone to a new nokia lumia. MS has been so slow ever since on new apps and talking to developers such as King who makes cand crush. They should look onto that and surely many will make a switch.

FACT: I can't even remember using any google related services on my WP, don't need em.

Pages