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Google’s problem with Windows Phone
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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. 

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Comments

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1jaxstate1 says:

I don't think WP succes depends on Google, or Google success depends on supporting WP. But when these companies start being aholes with each other, only the consumer loses in the end. Do I was a better youtube/gmail app, sure. I wont dump WP due to not having it though. But if they played together nicely, we would be better off.

freerider189 says:

Thing is, Google's apps aren't best in class anyway. MetroTube is superior to any Google-made YouTube app on Android or iOS. Only since Google adopted (copied?) the Metro UI style for all their offerings have their apps actually become usable. And the Play store is an absolute mess. If only Google didn't own YouTube, I for one could be completely free of Google all together.

hwangeruk says:

Yup:
MS need an answer to YouTube
MS need "search by date" in BING
Then I would be rid of the spy in the sky Google.
MS needs an alternative to iTunes Match
Then I would be rid of Apple too :)
Microsoft have released some great products recently, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8 and Windows Surface.
They just need to polish the heck out of them.
The phone needs custom sounds for email, sort order for Inbox, and lots of other small customisations (like do not disturb etc)
They always seem to get soooo close. I'm hoping they get the job done, as I trust MS more than I trust Google and Apple just cannot do cloud services well.

castano22 says:

Microsoft has xbox musix which is better than iTunes. You can get a music pass that lets you download unlimited music (can only be played if you have a WP, xbox or Windows Computer) or you can just buy the music and use it any where.

KQ17 says:

Except the Xbox Music app in Windows 8 is even worse than iTunes.

jasongw says:

How do you figure? I was an iTunes user for years, and I've had nothing but ease with the Xbox Music app in Windows 8 and on Windows Phone 8 :)

paliotti says:

you can stream music on Xbox Music for W8 for free. Does iTunes do that?

mrdeezus says:

WRONG! In theory the way the app works it may be better than itunes and other music services but if you compare the Xbox music app to Zune it is an abortion gone bad in the sun, and i am being kind here. I am a long time Zuner and imo, the Xbox music app is crap. It is slow, it is hard to buy music on, there is no related tab. Heres an idea MS, take zune, rebrand it Xbox music and release that then youll have an awesome music app. Or get to fixing this broken piece of crap you call a music app. Oh yea, and why not allow Zune ztyle SS on the WP8 if it is charging? And where is my zune colored theme on my wp8....i could go on but you get the picture.

MrDeezus is totally on point. I have been an early adopter for WinPhone7, WP8, Windows 8 (from the first consumer preview) and the first thing I have done on any PC I've owned is install the Zune Software. It was the holy grail for MS because it didn't "just work", it worked flawlessly. It was a fantastic piece of software and I waved goodbye to iTunes and only ever used WMP to watch movies in unusual video formats. 

When I bought my Lumia 920 I plugged it straight in to my PC and expected Zune to load...it did not and there has been nothing acceptable by way of a replacement from Microsoft in the 12 months since WP8 launched. The desktop "app" is like something from the last century and while the Windows 8 Phone app works fine, it's not a complete solution like Zune was. 

Zune needs to be running on 8.1 RT and 8.1 x86/x64. Rename it if you want, but make it happen. Xbox Music on Win 8.1 is a massive improvement, no question, but i'd still rather use WMP. On the Surface2 I'm trying to get MediaMonkey to place nicely but I really do miss Zune. 

thirdsun says:

Well, this may be true compared to iTunes Match. But after all both are pretty weak. I'm a rdio subscriber and I expect my music streaming service to be available everywhere: Browser, desktop, smartphone, iPad, on the big living room stereo via Airplay (seriously MS, where is DLNA for WP8?). Neither iTunes nor Xbox music can offer that.

bjd223 says:

IDK about WP in general but Nokia has an official release for DLNA Q1 2013. This is what a developer working on the application said over at Nokia Beta Labs.
He said that some dependancies needed to be updated before the Nokia DLNA app would support the higher resolution screens on the new devices. He also said these were Nokia deliverables not MS so I imagine they will get it done as Nokia has really great support for its devices.

Jazmac says:

Agreed.  I was just thinking the same thing about video.  MS needs to own controlling intrest in Vevo and offer it as a compettitor to Youtube.  I simply do not care for Google and its IOS ways.

jmshub says:

As much as I'd like to kick Google out of my life, I don't see anything being competition to youtube for a while. It's entrenched as "the" online video site. There are others, but nothing that can hold a candle to youtube. If Microsoft bought another company and poured money into it, it would be another Bing...a service that doesn't quite compare for the average user, and a massive money sink for MSFT.

Personally to me gmail is not the best and even is not user friendly app of mail exisdtent on the world, nobody have used gtalk or even  hangouts and google calendar and   docs thing is not that great, youtube  just gained relevance because people use it like what has happened with what apps but    microsoft could made their own unlimited service of video on the cloud like youtube,  and we the users of  windows phone can demmand more efforts to microsoft because they do software from more of 20 years and could make it more efforts if they wanted to do it or  will to do it,  i find a ridiculous thing that somes features of windows phone and in special of bing  be just avalaible in north america and certain  countries of Europe, that restriction do not do any well to the users that do not want to  depend of google services.

 

i find even riduculous that   services like yahoo or AOL  do not create apps for windows phone  i  use mostly msn and yahoo services and i find exceptionally good their services, already exist an gap to fill up behind just google  ecosystems

 

we have to put something in clear google only is known by google search and Android  nothing else, if you do an survey and ask who use the entire service og g mail will see that  less of 30 percent use it and many uses hotmail or aka outlook and etc, if you ask by google the first thing that come to people is search stuffs on the web, if ask by windows or microsoft many will say windows of  inmediate way.

Dude WTH are you talking about? MS needs an alternative to iTunes? XBox Music. The phone needs custom sounds for email? You can DO THAT yourself. 

1jaxstate1 says:

That's a opinion. I prefered the android app to metrotube and supertube.

dkp23 says:

Isn't the YouTube app just an extension of the mobile site?

benners76 says:

Yes... Takes you to m.youtube.com.

absolutshame says:

Does the Android google app allow downloading?

tallgeese says:

Then I'll add my opinion: MetroTube is better than other YouTube apps on any smartphone platform...IMO.

Marco Gomes1 says:

You`ve got my vote. I HAD an android and switched to WP8. Was discouraged by the youtube app but the METROTUBE app wich i have on trial is EXCELENT and definitly worth the 99 cents. Im buyin it. 

machina says:

if Google thinks that this will make anyone switch to the vomit mess called Android, they're dreaming.
 
I just finished transferring all my emails from my old Gmail account to my brand new (and shiny) Outlook using Microsoft’s TrueSwitch. It took about a day to transfer all my emails.
Bye bye suckers!
 

jamz82277 says:

MetroTube is Brilliant. I have never seen a better YouTube app, and I never even knew it existed until I read this post. Just bought it for WP8 for a dollar.

zacsaturday says:

MetroTube? no offence, but i've never heard of it.

Tips_y says:

At this point, I agree that Google does not need both WP8 and W8 because the market share is too inconsequential to be useful to them. But as soon as userbase increases to near 20%, Google will be there in a sec. Google is a snoop by nature and they won't sit still until they "know" exactly what W8 & WP8 users are doing when there are enough of them.

spd_rcr says:

I think you have it half right, Google's success doesn't depend on Windows Phone, but I'm not buying another Windows Phone because I'm sick of not having access to even a tiny fraction of the great apps available on IOS and Android. I've lobbied several companies to port the apps I need to Windows Phone over the last 2 years and they have shown zero interest in the platform. At this point sticking with Windows Phone feels about as productive as throwing away a vote on a 3rd party candidate.

Except that apparently Nokia and HTC have sold more Windows Phones now than they have over the past two years, and interest in the platform is finally gaining momentum. Over the next year or two, I believe we'll finally see some momentum.
 
Microsoft is finally marketing the way they should have two years ago, companies are releasing great hardware, and customers are taking note that there's more out there.

1jaxstate1 says:

You nor anyone else has seen any numbers. So you're pretty much just talking out ur....

MastrMeatWad says:

I have not used Xbox music, but Zune was far superior to iTunes, so if Xbox music is different I am sad.

@spd- you were making valid points until you tossed in the throwing away your vote for a 3rd party candidate. A person never "throws" away a vote. I'll leave it at that. Did not want to go off topic.

Marco Gomes1 says:

I`ve ditched android for WP8 and i can not remeber ONE app i had on android that i miss in WP8. I`ve got all that i need and then some (mind you i´m not a instagram user nor plan on being anytime soon). Maybe you`re feeling left out cause of instagram, is it?

purevibz says:

the only thing that I use that's google is youtube, so google can F*** off!!!!

Funny how you say f*** google then you go ahead and use youtube. Hyprotical MS fanboy is hypocritical.

dlrohm says:

He's not being hypocritical. Who's being the fan boy here??

dalydose says:

YouTube is a worthwhile property of Google. I have to like Google as a whole in order to like using YouTube to avoid being a hypocrite in your world? If so, call me a hypocrite and like you alter the definition to suit your perspective, I'll consider the source of the attempted insult.

No. At one point you go 'fuck Google' and stuff like 'i hate google' and then you chug along using YouTube all day. Not you specifically but the general trend here. And yes that is precisely what a hypocrite is.

Kuasii05 says:

Actually, a hypocrate is someone who tells others one thing and then does the opposite.  So, if he had said "Everyone should stop using all Google services" but then he continuted to use google services, he would then be a hipocrate.  By stating he doesn't like google but continues to use a google service does not make him a hypocrate.  So no, that is NOT precisely what a hypocrite is.

PolishHitta says:

I believe YouTube wasn't originally a google feature. Didn't Google buy out YouTube? Bunch of idea stealing, money sucking selfish... You finish the line.

Your point is stupid. I hate Google. I tolerate YouTube for content viewing, but make no mistake I use AdBlocking to prevent the aspects that displease me. I find Chinese slave labor to be offensive, and I can advocate and support initiatives to stop it, but I still have to buy products that probably came from FoxConn. That doesn't make someone a hypocrite no matter how you want to twist the word to suit your moronic point.

Same here. If Adblock was unable to block ads on YouTube I would not use that site.

Jazmac says:

Good point dalydose. I used YOUTUBE long before it became the property of google and with that, F google.

awesumjon says:

This comment. . . . This is why we can't have nice things!

pookiewood says:

Guess what? I was a religious Youtube user before Google came and pissed all over the walls with their ads. Its the only Google service I use. I also say F Google. See ya! You won't be missed!

Kadcidxa says:

Google Video was a fail, so they bought Youtube. Since they bought it, they have ruined it. Every new layout they have made is unusable. Fuck Google!

geva bar says:

google is threaten by microsoft because it can put its os on any device, cheap phones and expensive phones, they also have bing, and bing is getting really good, they also have office.....if micosoft buys htc or nokia or makes there own phone then google is really going to feel it....microsoft is making smartglass for android, and making office for android, if people get use to that, one day android users will just say hey i should just buy an orginal windows phone...this is microsoft, google trying to not make maps and email for windows phone is not good because, people can live without there services.... you can always search google on windows ie, and youtube, the rest means nothing...

tendoboy1984 says:

Microsoft will not buy HTC. They are too invested in Android to just give all that up. I can easily see Microsoft buying Nokia, since they are Microsoft's main Windows Phone partner, and the entire future of the company hinges on its success.

jasqid says:

Yepper. Me 2.

+1, no more tracking me, deleting everything google from my devices

tallgeese says:

Yep, I could care less about Google's other services. If Google blocked YouTube services from the Windows Platforms, then I'd angry.

lfjj says:

Glad I got all my contacts and calendar on my Hotmail account.

dainla says:

I switched from hotmail because I had so many problems with spoofing on hotmail.
Not really pleased I may have to switch again

frugo says:

Bravo, well said ....now,  if I could only get these trolls from Engadget to see this....

aubreyq says:

Meh. Who cares about them?

HitTheBricks says:

Yea, that article Darren wrote was an editorial but it was so one sided it...as if Microsoft's future wholly depends on google. This is just competition folks. This article, being on WPcentral is obviously one sided too, but it's a lot more objective than engadget.

anuith says:

I don't know much about engadget. But if this site is one sided it's acceptable, IMO. According to the site's title.

brendu says:

People still read Engadget??

revamp says:

Unfortunely, it is hard to find good tech blogs these days that are not one sided.  One good thing about engadget is that I will always know they are apple fanboi's so when I look and read through their articles, I can read some new things about technology and be able to filter through the fanboi crap.

Jabid21 says:

The Verge is even worse. Their hate for Microsoft is so obvious that they make Engadget seem unbiased.

exactly this. The Verge is even worse than Engadget

tendoboy1984 says:

Engadget is one of the biggest tech blogs out there, along with Gizmodo and Wired.

vijax21 says:

Ohh ya.. There used to be Engadget app on my WP. Can't even remember if I had that app after my reset.

Jabid21 says:

The Verge is even worse. Their hate for Microsoft is so obvious that they make Engadget seem unbiased.

MastrMeatWad says:

why is verge and endgadget so bias? Who owns, runs the sites? I stopped reading both sites because the articles were bad. What did MS do piss in their soup?

tendoboy1984 says:

Engadget is owned by AOL.

alex6272 says:

My biggest annoyance is the junk mobile Google website I always get

taxidriver9 says:

Exactly. When I first got a wp7 a year earlier, the google website looked just like it did on an iPhone or android. Now it's just the crappy wap version. They also used to maintain a public transit directions site for wap browsers that functioned well with wp7. Not anymore though. Google news also recently switched from the touch mobile layout to the wap version (on IE9 with a wp7). Gmail on IE9 is terrible as well. In fact the entire google experience on WP is pathetic. Looks like they're doing this on purpose to alienate WP users and get them to switch to android.

ZX9 says:

It's true. They do intentionally make the experience terrible. The question remains: at what point is Google alienating itself instead of WP users?

a5cent says:

When the average user sees that Google's services are poor on WP, but great on iOS and Android, Microsoft will be blamed, not Google. As long as the general public doesn't know better, Google isn't alienating itself at all.

thinkdan says:

But it will likely have the opposite effect. WP users won't switch to Android, but stop using Google services all together.

jbrandonf says:

It's strange because mobile YouTube works well as well as Google Reader but Gmail looks like total shit. Google is obviously threatened by WP, have you noticed how tech blogs are slowly starting to mention WP now? Even if its offhand its something we've never had before.

Miti 1982 says:

That's because by default IE will show you the mobile version of the site.
Go to the settings and change it to the desktop site and you will get the same experience as with Windows on desktop.
I for once have switched to Bing and not looking back.
Note: You can also change the default search provider in WP8 to Google in the settings so you don't have to load the site first but just enter your query in the IE address bar.

alex6272 says:

I have IE set to show the full site and Google is just about the only site I've found that bypasses that. In my experience I've found that Bing isn't quite as good.

MastrMeatWad says:

I used to think google was better, I cannot say that now. Especially when I read google will alter searches based on $$$ from companies. I only Bing search now...

Alcarnor14 says:

That's only in Google Shopper where they do that. And if they don't do it now, Bing will eventually, if only to stop bleeding out cash.

mjrtoo says:

I'd disagree, the built in Bing search tool is far ahead of a browser search.

Once again , why u guys keep talking about google , What is that ? Imma look it up on Bing on my Lumia 920 :)

Nakazul says:

Everything matters, we will see how much.

jdandison says:

I think the ecosystem is actually what makes WP so compelling. Of course, ecosystem in this case means more than just 'apps,' it's consistent user experience across platforms and form factors, interoperability with services and ease of transition in between. The Google EAS drama is nothing to worry about - if people are Google centric and feel Android is a better platform for the day-to-day, they're probably already on it.

Why is there a need for google apps on windows 8. Before windows 8 we were all just using google through website and it was the whole experience and imo the best.

This is a very well written story. It hit all the facts. Microsoft depends totally on itself. That being said its, up to Microsoft to get the apps amd features wanted by the people to keep the ecosystem going.

ebradley says:

MS could and should go the route of building out all of the apps that people complain are missing. Even though some are un-needed. MS should really go all out as Apple and Google has for their own ecosystem.

Great user name BTW

ZX9 says:

Big Brother is watching Master Chief...

Jabid21 says:

Rather unfortunate. How in the world people don't notice that Microsoft has changed its ways? Google is becoming the old, anti-competitive Microsoft.

WinFan1 says:

YES! at what point will it be held accountable for its shady practices? microsoft got torn to shreds for practicing things like this, why does a company like google get away with this?

robert brand says:

The world has changed radically since then, people do not care about privacy, tracking, rights. Google and Apple could both do with a dose of anti-competitive investigation. Both are certainly in a few organizations headlights right now. In its quest to be number one Google has built a house of cards, there are so many areas where it can be knocked down. Copyright infringements, Patent infringements, dumping in the market. If someone doesn't have the balls to pull them up for some of this it sets a dangerous path for the future. RB

WinFan1 says:

That makes me sad for the future of all things tech.

aubreyq says:

Well said, Robert!

daveh101 says:

Nice article, always good to look at the history of all this stuff rather than just the most recent bit....helps put some perspective on it.

Have to say that I think MS can live without google, not sure if it would work the other way around yet.....might be just a bit too early, especially if W8 takes off well

allos autos says:

A very thoughtful piece, Mr. Brand. Thank you.

robert brand says:

Why, thank you kindly. :) RB

erzhik says:

Does Microsoft have an equivalent of Google Voice anyone?

Skype on consumer side. Exchange and Lync on Enterprise, and I'd argue they're more robust, overall... especially for enterprise.
 
And if you really want Google Voice on WP, there's MetroTalk.

AMERICANRAJ says:

Microsoft should buy HULU. That will kick some video!

robert brand says:

 

Hulu is owned by the big content companies as a joint venture. I don’t think they will be giving up their rights on that for the time being. NBC/COMCAST/FOX/DISNEY+ a few others... :)

If you’re concerned about MS owning a Video service, don’t be. Much of the content on Google's YouTube service is screened and taken down if it violates copyright laws.

The site is now riddled with ads, I am quite happy to see Microsoft use YouTube for its own announcements and videos, why waste your own bandwidth when you can use a competitors for free? :) RB

That is an EXCELLENT point! :)

ajua says:

Mmm...Skype? ;)

sirkirby says:

No, unfortunately. I've fully depended on gvoice for years now...thanks to metrotalk though, the WP experience in my 920 is solid. I do miss that seamless integration in android though. I'm hoping the API in wp opens up the dialer in a future release. Or better yet, Skype offers a gvoice like service.

Skype now has more features then google voice these days,better quality service too, prefer it any day, goodbye google

pallentx says:

the only feature I care about is voicemail and forwarding my gvoice numer. Can Skype do that?

Jabid21 says:

Skype supports a voicemail service, call forwarding and changing caller ID, but I don't think it can ring multiple numbers like GVoice does and it requires you to have a subscription and/or credit.

In the eyes of the average iPhone and Android users, their biggest issues are apps. If Microsoft can concentrate on even writing their own apps for popular apps needed like instagram asap then they are set. The apps issue is the it factor for many.....not Google services BC Microsoft does have good alternatives for that, but not for the apps people want. Solve the app issue and I think windows will take off.

Totally agree. couldn't say it better.

Aldoron says:

Unfortunately they can only do so much to garner dev support. Its up to the devs in the end to write for W8P

Then Microsoft should hire their own dev team whose only purpose is to make great apps like metrotube. They really can't afford to sit back and WAIT for devs, but they sure can afford to put devs on their payroll. That to me is their only option right now.

robert brand says:

Microsoft already makes many of the apps for Windows Phone : Facebook is one of them. RB

Yes, I know they do, but they should make much more apps for the ones people are crying about. Maybe make a deal with instagram (and other companies) that they will foot the bill until they reach a certain amount of users that is deemed profitable by instagram, then instagram takes over maintenance of the app. And as for those devs of other popular apps, just pay them to do it if they don't think it's profitable for them right now and then have a contract that payment stops when a certain number of users deemed profitable has been reached. Microsoft needs to know that profit margins should take a second seat until you have accumulated the large user numbers. They are charging way too much for certain things like the surface rt and making it harder for themselves to compete with apple just so they can make a larger profit. Sorry for the rant, but I really want to see windows and Nokia take off.... Quickly haha

The attitude of "we'll wait until they have the numbers" that has been adopted by developers is what kills the WP* platform. I quite like Windows Phone 8 and would buy one if all the apps I use daily were available. How is Windows Phone 8 ever going to take off if developers don't support it... Developers: We'll wait until they have the numbers... Consumers: We'll wait until they have the apps

WinFan1 says:

absolutely ive been saying this for as long as ive owned a windows phone.

robert brand says:

The platform is now in its second major release, Nokia and Microsoft have shown that the devices are great and the industry as a whole can see it is not going away. Many of the top name apps are now present and as each one gets ticked off the list it gives less cover to those that hold out. It is up to Nokia and Microsoft to keep pushing, lower end devices, and partnerships with companies to release key apps. Being late the market means that they have to work harder but so far a steady course has been navigated. I do not think Windows Phone is in need of any apps from Google as I stated, there are far more pressing needs. RB

oddom says:

is this a response to the engadget editorial by chance?

robert brand says:

Not at all, its been brewing for a while with these two. I was trying to write this the other day but was swamped with app updates. RB

oddom says:

ok, i just read the engadget one a day before and then seen this and was like "whoe its a war!" nice editorial though

robert brand says:

Really glad you read and enjoyed it, this was written off the back of the apps and ActiveSync stories and the general news between Google and MS. Their relationship is something of a concern, at some point these two might really come to blows and it could be very damaging for them. I'd personally like to see them both meet somewhere and sort some things out. I fear though Android is such a huge issue this will never happen. Which is a shame. RB

karnka says:

I'm worried about the relationship too. I'm more invested in Google services, that I have been using for a good few years, than Windows Phone. It would probably be enough to force me and my family off the platform.

Mailed Stephen Elop and apparently MS and Nokia are considering a response.

RyanDaLyon says:

I think Microsoft should pull all of their Apps from the Android marketplace.

Microsoft doesn't make any money on the apps, but doing so would only frustrate users. If anything it makes having apps on multiple platforms even more valuable now... users want to use services that follow them, which is why they've left Microsoft over the years... but now, Microsoft is actually the shining star in all of this.

pookiewood says:

Nah. It makes since that they keep them there. It gets people used to the Metro interface.

jcagga says:

Haha Ike the android is so cute! Don't kick,the baby! Kick the baby!

SethGecko says:

Is there any alternative for google reader? If any, do they also have a Windows Phone App? I'm using Flux for the time being. Once I get rid of google reader, there is nothing more Google has to offer to me. ... besides YouTube.. Doh!

robert brand says:

Not to knowledge, no. RB

Try Nextgen reader,

robert brand says:

Think was asking if Google had a google reader service, rather than an app?

HaibaneReki says:

Try Fuse. Love The minimalist design.

L3Nix says:

I've been using Wonder Reader and FeedWorm.  FeedWorm also provides a free version with Ads, but the ad is small and not distracting, i almost forget its there most of the time.  
Edit: After re-reading, I may of misunderstood the question.

Tell me about it. I encounter these people saying "Uh oh, Google isn't making apps for even Windows 8 anymore!" as if Google lived in somewhere other than Firefox on my laptop before! Google wasn't in this from the beginning, and now they are telling us they won't be from now on either.
I will keep using my browser if I ever wanted to search using Google. Big whoop.

lesd777 says:

I'll be dropping my Gmail soon and will start utilizing my hotmail account as my primary. No big deal.

jonchai says:

Make sure you use outlook.com instead of hotmail to get full metro experience

chaz_uk says:

I used to love the way I ported my stuff easily scross platforms with Google Sync. I've synced the same data across OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, WebOS and Windows phone over the years but now, it looks like it won't be an option going forward.
I'm currently usng Android and iOS and am lacking any Windows Phone hardware at the moment  (which i salways subject to change) but the decision from Google has made it that bit more of a pain in the arse to keep everything in sync.
I refuse to use the likes of iCloud from Apple as I have a real distaste with the way that data won't play nice with rival platforms. It's my data and I would like the choice to use it as and where I please.
This decision is not cool at all but won't affect my choice weather or not to get a new Windows Phone 8 device in future.

Miti 1982 says:

Get WP8 and use SkyDrive. 7GB free and they play nice on all platforms by offering apps.

jonchai says:

If u are a long time hotmail user, I believe you can get up to 25gb free on Skydrive

True but they cut down to 7 if you didn't use 5 GB of the 25 I wasn't warned about so I lost that on 2 accounts I had before they released SkyDrive

PeterFnet says:

Bing and Nokia provide apps for other platforms. Google tried to suffocate Apple by limiting their uses( ie Navigation). They made it only available on Android.
Apple gave them the big finger and created their Apple Maps. I applauded this. Just recently, Google reneged on that course and released Nav and Map apps for Apple.
Now they're trying to follow the same course of action on Windows Phone. I equate it to picking on the smaller kid at the playground. Considering that I use Nokia Drive and the rest of the Windows Phones have at least Nokia sourced maps, I find it amusing. I was very happy when MetroTube resumed their development.
Google isn't doing their shareholders any service by fooling themselves into thinking they can get an Android Phone in everyone's hands.

Folks don't be religious about companies; read this article and compare:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/14/editorial-windows-phone-future-withou...

Read it. Didn't make sense to me then not going to now. I can't think of anything google makes that is more attractive to me than Microsoft. I like Youtube but MetroTube fills that spot amazingly. People who say Microsoft will fail with out google is laughable. Google would fail without Microsoft. Wouldn't even exist today.

tendoboy1984 says:

MetroTube is still YouTube, duh.

Google is out of their ever-loving mind, but it's only going to hurt consumers and Google. If anything, Microsoft's cross-platform efforts for these services make them all the more appealing. If Google starts charging for these services, who do they think is going to buy into it when everyone else is still free?

bbqrooster says:

You are correct, that's why I got rid of all Google services. Google is simply a company I cannot rely on.

It's fact that everyone uses youtube and windows phone doesn't have even one decent app for youtube.
It's a fact that chrome is way better than IE and I cannot have it on my windows phone.
It's a fact that Google Maps is by far the best map service out there and I cannot use it on my windows phone. (don't mention GMapPro cause it sucks)
Why do you try to change facts?

based_graham says:

What about MetroTube?
What about IE10?
What about Nokia Maps, Drive, Transit, City Lens?
 

If you call metrotube a decent app you have probably not used youtube app on iPhone.
About IE10 I'm trying to get used to it but I had a far better experience with Chrome.
Transit app is so dumb in finding the right choice of buses in the city I live in so it is completely useless.

based_graham says:

What's the difference really? Do you think everyone is a Youtube power user I use Metrotube to watch and search Youtube and that's about it.
What's so good about the native Youtube app on IOS or on Android its probably the same but with 1 or 2 better features but at the end of the day can you watch Youtube on a Windows Phone and the answer is yes.
IE10 is a bit different but non the less its a good browser is it as feature rich as Chrome on iOS and Android probably not but can you browse, search web pages absoultely is it fast absolutley.
Transit needs some work but lets not act like if MS had no mapping services available. Transit, Maps, Drive, City Lens are all good mapping services and will only get better over time. Sure IOS Google Maps are better right now well maybe thats because Maps, Drive etc haven't been updated on WP8. Nokia's next update can put them above Google maps its a consistant battle between the two.

Infamy79 says:

I own a Lumia 920 for personal use and an iPhone 4 for work and Metrotube is a brilliant app, I think far better than the iOS version. The looks of each app are subjective (I prefer Metrotube), but I find more functionality in Metrotube also. You can't download videos to watch later on the iOS version like you can with Metrotube.
Not sure what your reference point on Chrome is given you are comparing the iOS version of Youtube, so if that is the platform you are using then Chrome is only Safari's rendering engine with a skin on top of it, hardly a compelling reason to use Chrome on iOS. I have no issues using IE10 and use it my laptop also, I have downloaded Chrome as my 2nd browser, but only use it occasionally.

pookiewood says:

Metro Tube isn't just a "Decent App". Its a great app. It syncs to your subscriptions, you can comment, like and dislike, it has a cool Live Tile Feature, it is one of the best Metro styled app that gets the design and it is fast and stable. Please tell me why it is just "decent".

poddie says:

Wow, "fact"... I do not think the word means what you think it means.

Nice Princess Bride reference. :)

Reflexx says:

Haha. Exactly.

pulkit10 says:

Umm, both MetroTube and SuperTube are great YouTube apps (more full featured than the Google ones on other platforms). The browser bit totally depends on the person - I'm happy using IE10 on my phone, for example and the maps depend hugely on where you live.
Point being, if you really think Google offers better services, I suggest you move to Android. You won't be missed, I promise.

No need to make it personal! I won't be missed by when a lot of users like me leave windows phone or don't even consider switcing, then that would affect microsft and you as a user.
I love my windows phone but it is a shame that iPhone users have the choice between shitty apple maps vs google maps and safari vs chrome and ios mail app vs gmail app and so on...
So it does affect the people's choices that google has totally ignored windows phone and it makes a difference.

dasfoto says:

Based on your comments bashing WP and your love for Google products, I find it very hard to believe you actually own a Windows Phone.

I'm not bashing WP.
I switched from iPhone two weeks ago and find some things frustrating.
My problem is not google+, google reader, google docs, google drive or any other google products.
I prefer to chose google maps, search and youtube! and I'm perfectly fine with skydrive, hotmail, office, onenote, translater, skype and so on.
You people are so religious.

Residing says:

RezaMoghtader...You knew exactly what Wp had to offer BEFORE you purchased it but you get the device anyway? You'll go back to iPhone and/or Android and then continue to criticize it 'legitimately' while having 'real world' usage of WP. It seems you don't value your time since you knew what WP offered and that you would be unhappy.

bbqrooster says:

Really, you switched from iPhone to WP and you love all thing Google. Really

David Ray says:

Nokias map set is way better than Googles offerings. And MetroTube is a ton better than anything I ever had on my iPhone. IE10 got ratest the fastest browser to date if I recall correctly. Hmmm..

absolutshame says:

Isn't Nokia the world leader in mapping? And Youtube on android and iPhone are quite lacking in comparison to Supertube and Metrotube.

Aldoron says:

Reza, you seem to fail to understand that you are in a place where nearly every user is pro-wp. Its great to be unbiased when speaking about various products but its unrealistic in most cases. If Robert's article is as accurate as I believe it to be, then I think Google has made a poor choice by alienating wp users.

I think users, instead of taking a company's side, should be able to discuss their needs and expectations to make the companies provide better service.

Why does Google provide apps for IOS and not WP? WP isn't worth the investment. (According to Google)

Who is losing? I think everybody
1- Users: because they are losing their options
2- Microsoft: because some users may not switch because of this
3- Google: They are loosing WP users

WinFan1 says:

i actually agree with reza. as much as i dislike google, whatever problems google as a company has with microsoft as a company, giving a big old ef you to the consumers does not create ideal situations in where users can buy whatever product they want whilst still being able to decide whatever services to use.

Ian Too says:

In principle, Reza is quite right, but that assumes all companies are all the same; but with Google, we can't afford to be that naive.
If you own an Android device, you are basically under surveillance from Google, even to the extent that they track your movements. Google use this to build a profile of you which they use to target advertising, but where does it say they won't become more pro-active or invasive when it suits them?
Traditionally when people talk about Big Brother, they mean the state, but why should large corporations be any different? After all, with the state the danger is megalomania, but with corporations there are genuine conflicts of interest.
I think smart people are moving away from Google products because of privacy concerns and that's my advice: Move away from Google. Remember its your information, not theirs.

WinFan1 says:

Definitely agree with you there

Sonic98 says:

I'm sorry but the only Google product worth anything is YouTube, and they didn't even invent. You must be comparing the Map feature on Android vs WP because I like the maps and directions I get on Bing way better than Google. IT gives you more details such as "there is a BP on the right" or " you went to far if you reach X street." Also, I've had plenty of times I searched Maps on google and it will tell me to make a right then another right, but it won't say the name of the street for those two rights. As for browsers, I almost never use Chrome. IE just like Windows will still be the browser of choice for long-time users, schools, and businesses. A lot of them will only use another browser on sites that are more optimized for other browsers. But Microsoft is adopting more and more web standards with each version of IE. There is nothing will will miss on a WP or even if something went down with iOS other than youtube, and too be honest the youtube app isn't that great. Even when I use an iPad, I find myself going to either the mobile site or full youtube site instead of using the app. If Microsoft were to purchase the right company and develop a good YouTube alternative a lot of people who flock to the new, hot video site

jsantana0793 says:

Microsoft does not need Google. Yes you can still use YouTube using the desktop version on WP8 and use YouTube on internet explorer. Who cares about a dedicated app. Everything else from Google is not needed. I don't use Gmail, I don't use their active sync, I don't care for their mapping system, Bing is a much better search engine. So all the other non secure garbage the google makes do nothing for me. I frankly don't even care for Android. It crashes, freezes, you always have to manage your phone, its a mess. Google can try to get into this market, but for all the years they been around, they have never taken over this market. This has been years and years of chasing. Yea, they have a great IPO, yet, I think its all wall street feeding into the garbage spewed by Google. Microsoft is solid. They are about a quality search engine, quality cloud system, quality office suite, quality email, quality mapping system, quality gaming system with a quality online gaming service. Its about quality. Google is about quantity, and it shows lack of quality with many security hole problems, adware, malware, viruses and so on. One day, it will catch up to Google is a huge way. I think Google is doing Microsoft a favor. Leave your garbage out..

Guitarman450 says:

Plus the apps for YouTube are complete s*** anyways

zacsaturday says:

You know google can block non android/ chromeos devices from even opeing Youtube.

Then Facebook falls as it has those mini video shortcuts to youtube.

rocky 710 says:

After I started using WP I began to like the Bing search and IE9...i really used to hate the IE and Bing but if u get used to it then Bing gives mostly relevant results now I no more use google for search
I love Windows phone eco system

Still don't like IE but I prefer Bing to Google

Guitarman450 says:

The only google product I use is YouTube and there's not even good app for it so im not loosing anything if google doesn't like Microsoft. Everything I use is Microsoft so google doesn't affect me one bit. I think this is just plain stupid. Windows phone is growing, google and apple know it so they're going to try to stop it.

sicnus says:

Excuse me, while the author wants to kiss - better yet, slobber - over MSFT's hind end. It should be noted that MSFT kicked Google to the curb first when they hardwired Bing to the search button. You guys are getting to be the Fox news of smart phones...

poddie says:

The author said as much right in the article.

sirkirby says:

The site is called windows phone central. It's their job to be on the side of the platform.

pulkit10 says:

Yeah, that was mentioned in the article.
I don't know if I agree though. That would be the case if Bing was as good as Google (outside the U.S.) but it isn't. I find myself repeatedly going over to Google in my browser for searches so I *really* would use an app instead of the dedicated search button.
And really, it is Google not making apps for Microsoft's products and not the other way around so the Fox news analogy doesn't quite fly here.

aubreyq says:

The author DOES mention it. Did you read the article.

David Ray says:

As if WINDOWS PHONE CENTRAL doesn't give that away anyways. Get over yourself and your crappy google services.

zacsaturday says:

ALRIGHT!!! no Youtube for you.

pookiewood says:

You don't get it. The reason Bing is hard wired is because MS is incorporating their services into their OS. You can change this for the browser though in settings. If you want Google search get an App just like you can get a Bing App or Widget in Android.

I'm sorry, please clarify... on Android, what are my search options? Oh yeah, Google. So when I press the Search button, it goes to who's that? Yeah, that's right, Google. Their phone OS, their search. Seems fair.

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