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Microsoft slams Google for blocking Windows Phone YouTube app

Microsoft has criticised Google for setting up roadblocks that are “impossible to overcome” after the latter blocked its Windows Phone YouTube app for the second time.

In an official blog post, Microsoft’s corporate vice-president and deputy general counsel for litigation and antitrust, David Howard, accused Google of creating “manufactured” reasons for blocking the app that mean Windows Phone users can’t get the same experience as Android and iPhone users.

“We have always had one goal: to provide our users a YouTube experience on Windows Phone that’s on par with the YouTube experience available to Android and iPhone users. Google’s objections to our app are not only inconsistent with Google’s own commitment of openness, but also involve requirements for a Windows Phone app that it doesn’t impose on its own platform or Apple’s,” claimed Howard.

The row centres around the HTML5 coding language. Google asked Microsoft to transition its YouTube app to this technology, even though Microsoft claims that neither YouTube’s iPhone app nor its Android app are built on HTML5.

“For this reason, we made a decision this week to publish our non-HTML5 app while committing to work with Google long-term on an app based on HTML5. We believe this approach delivers our customers a short-term experience on par with the other platforms while putting us in the same position as Android and iOS in enabling an eventual transition to new technology,” said Howard, who claimed the latest block was “frustrating to say the least”.

However, in a statement Google defended its actions saying: “We’ve been working with Microsoft to build a fully featured YouTube for Windows Phone app, based on HTML5. Unfortunately, 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. It has been disabled.”

An earlier version of Microsoft’s Windows Phone YouTube app was blocked in May after Google objected to a number of issues.