Google takes action against Microsoft in YouTube app spat

Google takes action against Microsoft in YouTube app spat

16 MAY 2013

Google has taken action to stop Microsoft from distributing its YouTube app for Windows Phone 8, arguing that some of its functionality goes against the terms and conditions of the service.

According to a letter published by The Verge, Google has noted that the Windows Phone app for its YouTube service: allows users to download videos from YouTube; prevents the display of ads in content; and makes available videos which have not been made available for certain platforms (for example, mobile devices with limited feature sets).

Google argues that this means that Microsoft’s app removes the main monetisation method for YouTube videos, as well as overriding defined content preferences which may be in place due to contractual requirements.

“We were surprised and disappointed that Microsoft chose to launch an application that deliberately deprives content creators of their rightful earnings, especially given that Windows Phone 8 users already have access to a fully-functional YouTube application based upon industry-standard HTML5 through the web browser,” the letter said.

The Verge said that Microsoft had responded by stating that it would be happy to support advertising, but it needs Google to provide access to the necessary APIs to do so. Noting comments from Larry Page, Google’s CEO, the Windows giant said that “we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers”.

Earlier this year, Microsoft criticised Google for not allowing it to access YouTube metadata which would enable it to offer an improved Windows Phone 8 app, stating that executives at Google had told its YouTube staff “not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phone”.

The Wall Street Journal reported that at the Google I/O developer event this week, Page had said that Microsoft would not allow Google to integrate with the Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) webmail service, although Microsoft had begun to incorporate Google’s instant messaging with Outlook.com.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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