Microsoft has given in to Google's requests by updating its YouTube app for Windows Phone, but only to a degree. The company will be complying with some (but not all) of Google's terms of service. The two giants have been locked in a fist fight for some time regarding the official YouTube app for Windows Phone. It doesn't look like it'll be over anytime soon either.
So what's this all about? Microsoft has been wanting Google to get a half-decent YouTube app developed for its platform for some time now (years even). But the company has decided to quit waiting and provide its customers (as well as those who utilise Google services) a way to enjoy videos published by subscribed accounts. There is only one issue with Microsoft's attempts: it didn't play well with Google.
The search giant sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter regarding the app, noting violations of the YouTube terms of service. This included no advertisements being displayed and enabling users to download videos for offline playback. It was put forward that Microsoft should either pull or block the app from consumers by May 22nd.
Microsoft has today decided to meet Google half way. The company has rolled out an update for the YouTube app, which will remove the video download functionality. Here's what a Microsoft spokesman said to ZDNet in response to questions raised about what the plan was:
"Microsoft updated the Windows Phone YouTube app to address the restricted video and offline video access concerns voiced by Google last week. We have been in contact with Google and continue to believe that our two companies can work together to hone an app that benefits our mutual customers, partners and content providers. We’re earning new customers every day, with IDC reporting recently that Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year gain among leading operating systems. We look forward to working with Google to maintain a great YouTube experience for the growing number of people who rely on both of our respective products."
Microsoft has consistently played the card that Google refuses to provide access to necessary APIs that would allow the company to develop a worthy YouTube app, which would also serve advertisements and keep the Android beast happy. Currently, the Windows Phone team has crafted the app using an API which doesn't provide ad support. It's a vicious circle.
Google not only doesn't want Microsoft to build an app for its platform, but also Apple and BlackBerry. Google is the party who builds and maintains native apps for the respective platforms, but has skipped Windows Phone, ignoring requests from both consumers and Microsoft. Google has made it clear in the past that it doesn't wish to support Windows 8 or Windows Phone with many of its services and products.
So where do we go from here? It's difficult to say, but whatever the outcome is, Microsoft will surely use the situation for its Scroogled campaign against Google. In the eyes of the consumer, it's in the best interests of both companies to work together and get a solution made available for Windows Phone. Happy customers for Microsoft and partners enjoying revenue income alongside Google.