Windows Phone users are again without an official YouTube app. Microsoft re-launched its YouTube app for Windows Phone on Tuesday, thanking Google for its support. The previous version had irked Google as it was made without permission, wasn't displaying Google's money making adverts and allowed downloads of videos for later perusal. This app was removed sometime during May this year. Now the new version, only just released on Tuesday, has irked Google by not being programmed in HTML5 and violating the YouTube terms of service (TOS).
A couple of days ago we thought the Microsoft and Google squabble over the Windows Phone YouTube app was over. The latest Windows Phone YouTube app made available by Microsoft on Tuesday had enabled Google's ads, stopped allowing users to download videos and even expanded the app capabilities to allow video uploads from the smartphone. In addition Microsoft said at the time of release that the new app "provides the great experience our consumers expect while addressing the concerns Google expressed in May, including the addition of ads", before thanking Google for its help and support.
Now Microsoft's new YouTube app for Windows Phone users has also been blocked. Speaking to The Verge a Google spokesperson explained "Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service." The spokesperson added "It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines."
In an escalating war of words Microsoft's David Howard, Corporate Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Litigation & Antitrust, has written a blog post on The limits of Google's openness. In the post Howard puts forward complaints of unfairness and "roadblocks" Google is putting in place to prevent Windows Phone users from enjoying a YouTube app comparable to iOS and Android efforts.
That the Windows Phone app must be programmed in the HTML5 language seems to be a sore point for Microsoft, "Google says that we are not complying with its 'terms and conditions.' What Google really means is that our app is not based on HTML5. The problem with this argument, of course, is that Google is not complying with this condition for Android and iPhone. Again, we’re happy to collaborate with Google on an HTML5 app, but we shouldn’t be required to do something that apparently neither iPhone nor Android has successfully figured out how to do," writes Howard.
Microsoft's Howard also asserts that adverts were displayed in the new app correctly "using all the metadata available to us". If there is extra data available to Android and iOS programmers to help with this functionality Google hasn't been forthcoming with the information.
The Microsoft blog post concludes with the accusatory statement that "We think it’s clear that Google just doesn’t want Windows Phone users to have the same experience as Android and Apple users, and that their objections are nothing other than excuses." However not wanting to slam the door of cooperation completely shut Howard adds "Nonetheless, we are committed to giving our users the experience they deserve, and are happy to work with Google to solve any legitimate concerns they may have. In the meantime, we once again request that Google stop blocking our YouTube app."