Microsoft Tries to Send an Olive Branch to Google
After Google demanded that the Microsoft-developed YouTube app for the Windows Phone 8 platform be taken down as it violates Google’s terms of service, Microsoft is attempting to make peace with its rival. Microsoft has responded to Google’s demands by meeting some of Google’s requests, but not all of the company’s demands surrounding YouTube.
Google had sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist notification for the Windows Phone YouTube app about a week after Microsoft had debuted the app. There were several problems that Google had with the app. The first is that Microsoft didn’t display ads when videos are watched through the Windows Phone client, which means Google and its content partners are not able to monetize each video that is viewed. The second issue is that Microsoft offered an option that allowed Windows Phone owners to download video and content they do not own.
Google had requested that the app be removed by May 22.
Microsoft is meeting half of Google’s demands. The company began rolling out a YouTube app update as of late afternoon on May 22 to remove the video download button so watchers cannot download videos anymore.
However, according to ZDNet, the app still doesn’t show ads. The company sent the following statement:
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 had previously addressed Google’s cease-and-desist letter stating that Google had not released the APIs for Microsoft to add ads to the Windows Phone client.
One of the biggest complaints about the YouTube client for Windows Phone in the past was that it was like a bookmark to the YouTube mobile webpage and was lacking in features. As a result, the client trailed behind what is offered on iOS and on Android. The app update released on May 7 brought a more modern experience that matched the features on rival platforms.
Google had stated in the past that it has no plans to build apps or clients to support its services on Windows Phone. Windows Phone users would have to access Google service through web apps, rather than native apps. Both companies have engaged in a Cold War since the debacle over Exchange ActiveSync.