Microsoft: Our Windows Phone 7 YouTube app sucks because of Google

By Tom Warren, on 31st Mar 11 2:21 pm with 38 Comments

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.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting angle to use the “Apple don’t have a search engine” tactic here. Although, if these functions aren’t part of the public API then they have no right to moan.

    • Anonymous

      What do you mean? Microsoft was sued because there was apparently “non public apis”. (amongst other things) Why is google allowed a double standard while Microsoft is held to the highest? Its OBVIOUS that Android and iPhone users have better youtube experiences and access that WP7 doesn’t. Its OBVIOUS google is “blissfully” leveraging that anyway they can by not writing their own interface or allowing microsoft to. Myself, i sort of like the fact that the youtube interface is html and it should be html5 so it would be the same on webos, iphone, wp7, android but once again, people play this “standards” game for all the wrong reasons when its only about who can leverage whom.

  • Tim

    Pretty damning if true… and I’m inclined to believe it is.

  • Koki_v3

    Google needs to pull that stick out of its ass and actually start making apps for Windows Phone, I especially miss official Google maps application!

    • Raphael

      It has nothing to do with Google making the apps, that’s Microsofts job. All they need to do is give them the API’s.

    • Ef Jay

      Sorry, how is MS supposed to make a google application? And A-B seems to work fine with the available API’s so at least something is possible but obviously google is not willing to make the effort. Dont forget the abysmal search app they released, just an example of how much effort they are putting into their WP7 work. Google sucks, pure and simple.

  • mike g

    Even when i had an iPhone, i think i used the Youtube app maybe 3 times. I dont even really visit Youtube anymore. I see it more as a service, rather some place i actually visit.

    • Npgmbr

      I’m right there with ya. I rarely go to YouTube anymore except to see that occasional viral video.

  • Wheezle

    “Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone.”

    Considering how shitty the Facebook app is, I don’t believe the “high quality” part at all.

    • Michiel Papp

      HAve you seen what kind of integration facebook has on wp7? See those pictures on your peoples tab? That most likelly facebook syncing. The facebook integration on wp7 is brilliant in comparison to other operating systems.

    • Anonymous

      I think he’s just reffering to the Facebook application made by Microsoft which you can download from the Marketplace, not the Facebook integration with the People Hub.

    • Wheezle

      Yeah, it’s awesome. Doesn’t do everything you could possibly want from facebook on your phone, though.

    • GP007

      The FB app was updated today, at least for me, it’s up to v1.4 now. What do you want from it exactly? It lets me do everything but play FB games. What more is there to actually do on FB aside from : like a post, comment on posts or images, upload images, view images.

      The rest are the time wasting games that people play, that’s it. And the FB WP7 app does everything but that.

    • Anonymous

      i agree.. not sure what its missing. They seem to fix issues rather quickly and from a user perspective its faster than facebook on iphone to do similar functions. Metro UI ftw

    • Josè Daniel

      How exactly is it a shitty app? I’m curious

    • Wheezle

      It’s slow, buggy, crashes for many people, and lacks half the functionality you’d get on iOS (and Android as I’m led to believe, but I wouldn’t know about that). Just look at the reviews on marketplace.

      Everything about it feels half-finished and completely unpolished.

      The OS integration is lovely, but it’s hardly a replacement for an app. That’s why the app exists in the first place.

    • BPPisEarth

      The Facebook app runs brilliantly on my HD7

    • GP007

      I’ve never had it crash, it could use more performance but that’s it. What is half of the fucntionality that’s missing exactly? I can view my wall, msg friends, add friends, look at pics, upload pics, comment on them, comment on posts. What’s missing? It’s also got support for events and places though I don’t use those much really.

    • Anonymous

      Dude, the Android app is not as good as the WP7 app. As of this mornings update, there are no problems that I can see. It even has things that the android app did not have when I ditched my phone. The only thing missing is chat and I can live without that.

    • Anonymous

      Dude, the Android app is not as good as the WP7 app. As of this mornings update, there are no problems that I can see. It even has things that the android app did not have when I ditched my phone. The only thing missing is chat and I can live without that.

    • trashoner

      I don’t really see a good use for the Facebook app in WP7 at all when there are hubs that integrate with the phone way better than an app ever could.

    • Wheezle

      Ever tried to view someone’s photo album without the app? Check your notifications? See your facebook messages? I could go on…

      There’s more to facebook than just news feed and contact lists.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but all of that works in the facebook app already.

      BTW, if you integrate facebook you can view the facebook photo albums in the pictures hub :) I wouldn’t be surprised if we see facebook messaging integrated as an imap interface before long

    • trashoner

      I use the picture hub to see all of my facebook friends pictures in one spot. Way better than fishing for them in facebook itself. You’re right you cannot see a photo album in a hub but who really cares about a whole album when you see the pictures in the hub the second they’re being uploaded.

      I get notifications and messages through my email hub, so I don’t really see your point still. I really don’t. I guess people facebook in different ways. Most people use facebook for three things, keep up with theird friends postings, emailing, and sharing pictures. I can do all these way faster with the hubs. I don’t even have to use the picture hub to see pictures because they show up in the people hub anyway. If I do need to do more I rather do it my nice 27′ computer. I just think the hubs are faster and handier than the actual app. I am just glad that I have a phone that actually handles all my social networks in one place unlike the competition.

  • Michiel Papp

    I wouldn’t doubt google would try something like this…….then again MS has done these kinda things in the past to. Recently however microsoft has manned up and decided they want to play (semi)nice. They are one of the most ethical company’s in my eyes for the moment. So i’m with microsoft on this one……and hope that youtube app gets on my phone :p

  • frankwick

    Apple is the Microsoft of the 1990s. Google is the new evil.

  • Antonio Raga

    “Developers” moan always about standards when it comes to Microsoft (thus demonstrating to have an idea of Microsoft that refers to the late 90s and not to actual reality). But when it comes to Apple, Google, Mozilla, standards sermons end. Everything is permitted. #fail

    • trashoner

      All i’ve read though, is that developing for WP7 is a developer’s dream. At least that’s what Paul Thurrott thinks, whatever that means! May be Mr. Tom Warren could enlighten us in this subject.

    • Anonymous

      iOS is restricted, OSX is moving to app store, Google is moving to app store, mozilla? just being open source != developer friendly.. Microsoft will prove shortly that its .net strategy was the best thing it ever did especially when Phones, Tablets and desktop OS’s will be easily converged. Microsoft doesn’t really look forward to a tablet/phone os vs a workstation os vs a server os. They want those OS’s being able to run a common app environment and .net developers will LOVE it.

  • Karl Cramer

    “Don’t be ev… What was that again?”, asked Google.

    • trashoner


  • piaqt

    Pot v. Kettle.

  • Djlegion

    Tom, do you sit in front of your computer all day and just write articles? Lol. You’re a one man team right? And you’re pushing out more articles than Neowin. Calm down man.

    • trashoner

      ya, I have been going to less and less. IMO, neowin stares at as much as Mr. Tom Warren does, if you know what I mean…

      if you don’t know what I mean see how many articles they post that are almost straight copies from that’s kind of pathetic when you think that neowin has a whole lot more people working on gadget news. As of now, I only visit 3 places (in order of relevance to me):

    • Anonymous

      You lost me when you used engadget as being relevant.. especially to windows users. engadget has gone from bad to terrible and just when i thought they got rid of the mac lubbers the real ignorant writers come out of the crackwork that i forgot still existed. long live winrumors, ars technica and a few other tech forums :)

  • D.O.M

    F*** You Google

  • Davesville

    HTC’s YouTube app for WP7 is significantly better than the browser link one

  • McAkins Online

    And they said Google aint Evil, now you see their true color. Never been so true: “Absolute power corrupts absolutely!”