Microsoft says Google ‘refuses’ YouTube app access to Windows Phone users

YouTube blocking microsoftWe’ve previously heard that Google wasn’t planning on developing Gmail or any of its other apps for Microsoft’s Windows 8 platform. However, the search engine giant is also reportedly blocking a full-featured YouTube app from debuting on the Windows-themed OS as well.

Microsoft said on Wednesday that Google executives are preventing the Redmond, Washington-based company from offering “proper access to YouTube.”  Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, revealed this news through a blog post, acknowledging the importance of offering the video streaming app on mobile devices.

“This is an important issue because consumers value YouTube access on their phone,” Heiner wrote. “Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube and Android and Apple customers enjoy. Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers.”

This drama surrounding YouTube isn’t a new obstacle for Microsoft, as the executive revealed that the company has been struggling to resolve this issue for the past two years. As it stands, the YouTube app for Windows Phone is merely a limited version of the streaming service, considering Google doesn’t allow Microsoft access to YouTube’s full APIs.

The focus of Heiner’s argument in his recent blog post seems to be that Google executives are specifically responsible for this blockade; not the YouTube company as a whole.

“As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device—to have a great YouTube experience,” he wrote. “But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones.”

Google responded to Microsoft’s accusations, issuing the following statement according to AllThingsD:

“Contrary to Microsoft’s claims, it’s easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows Phones,” the statement read. “Windows phone users can access al the feature of YouTube through our HTML5-based mobile website, including viewing high-quality video streams, finding favorite videos, seeing video ratings, and searching for video categories. In fact, we’ve worked with Microsoft for several years to help build a great YouTube experience on Windows Phones.”

Oddly enough, a full-fledged YouTube app is present on one crucial Microsoft device: the Xbox 360. The app was released this past August and was part of YouTube’s new platform strategy to please fans when it comes to controlling the user experience.

[Image credit: Annette Shaff /]

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