Microsoft and Google are involved in a battle over the YouTube app for Windows Phones, and Microsoft has followed a cease-and-desist letter from Google by questioning Google’s commitment to interoperability and working together.
As The Verge reported today, Google sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter demanding that Microsoft remove the YouTube app from its Windows Phone Store because Microsoft’s version of the app doesn’t include Google’s ads.
Microsoft has responded today in a statement shared with Marketing Land that says Google hasn’t given Microsoft access to the necessary APIs to include ads and isn’t working together to make the Windows Phone version of the app on par with other versions.
YouTube is consistently one of the top apps downloaded by smartphone users on all platforms, but Google has refused to work with us to develop an app on par with the apps they have created for other platforms. Since we updated the YouTube app to ensure our mutual customers a similar YouTube experience, ratings and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. We’d be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs. In light of Larry Page’s comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.
The Larry Page reference there is to the Google co-founder’s statements today at the Google I/O conference. Page — as well as other Google speakers — argued that technology shouldn’t be tied to specific platforms; it should just work on any and all platforms and devices. Page also said that technology isn’t “zero-sum,” that companies should “just build great things,” and “being negative isn’t how we make progress.”
More specifically, Page responded to an audience member’s question by saying, “we struggle with people like Microsoft.”
At the moment, the YouTube app is still available in the Windows Phone Store. Google’s letter asked Microsoft to remove it by May 22nd.
Update: YouTube and Microsoft sent the following joint statement to Marketing Land on May 24:
Microsoft and YouTube are working together to update the new YouTube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with YouTube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks. Microsoft will replace the existing YouTube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version during this time.