Microsoft has admitted that its Windows Phone 7 YouTube implementation is lacking “rich functionality” due to Google.
The software giant filed an antitrust complaint against Google in Europe on Thursday. Perhaps the most telling and interesting part of the complaint is the revelation that Google is specifically blocking Microsoft from operating properly with YouTube on its new Windows Phones. Microsoft’s senior Vice President & General Counsel Brad Smith claims that the search giant has refused to allow Windows Phone 7 the same level of access as iPhone and Android devices.
“In 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.”
The revelations show why Microsoft’s YouTube implementation is very basic. The company faced fierce criticism of the lack of true YouTube functionality when it first introduced Windows Phone 7 in October. Microsoft says it’s seeking permission to access YouTube in the same way others do and hopes that its antitrust filing persuades Google to think differently.