Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 16th Aug 2013 16:10 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y

In the past two months, Microsoft and Google have been bickering over one central issue: HTML5. The Verge has learned that Google is forcing Microsoft to build its YouTube Windows Phone app in HTML5, despite its own Android and iOS versions using superior native code. Although Microsoft has offered to build ad support along with making other tweaks as Google has requested, a full HTML5 app isn't currently possible on the platform.

The difficult thing here is that Google actually has a very good case; it's their API, their service, their rules. On top of that, YouTube publishers - big and small - need to earn money from advertisements too, and incorrect implementations make that harder. Microsoft's mafia practices regarding patents, extorting companies to pay for Android use even though Microsoft has contributed zero code to Android plays a role too. Lastly, Windows Phone is essentially irrelevant with 3% market share - it's not as if Microsoft ever concerned itself with minority platforms.

Still, all this does is hurt consumers, no matter how few Windows Phone users there are. Just work this out, please, you bunch of children.

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Where's the controversy?
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 20th Aug 2013 14:57 UTC
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It looks to me as if Microsoft is wholly in the wrong here. All of the details I'm aware of give the impression that Microsoft is trying to paint the situation as if it were about "fairness", when they're really just relying on publicity stunts & various other dishonest/bad-faith tactics get undue special treatment for Windows Phone.

It seems to me that Microsoft is trying to portray the situaytion as if having a native WP youtube application is some kind of right, when actually a privilege (it's not as if native applications are the only way to access youtube content). It's Google's service, I see no reason they shouldn't be able to provide (or not) native applications, completely at their own discretion. It seems reasonable to me that a native youtube app is a extra perk afforded to the most popular mobile OSes - and if that is the rationale, then (frankly) WP doesn't have a large enough presence to justify Google going out of their way to support it.

Beyond that, there's no question in my mind that Microsoft knew they were violating Google's TOS with their previous youtube application. It looks to me as if that were deliberately done, in order to manipulate Google into a situation where they look like the bad guy. It also looks to me like Microsoft is desperately trying to give the impression that they hold the balance of power in their relationship with Google, despite the fact that it's a situation where they need Google much more than Google needs them - the lack of a WP native youtube app is much more of a problem for Microsoft than it is for Google.

And I think this is all indicative of Microsoft's difficulties in adjusting to a changing landscape. To quote Jean-Louis Gassee: "When you're the 800lb gorilla, it's up to everyone else to be compatible with you" - and Microsoft has typically been 800lb, but the current mobile landscape reverses that situation in many ways. And from what I can see, Microsoft no longer has the ability - or at least the willingness - to effectively compete when they're not the dominant player. The brute-force tactics that made the first XBox successful (viz: just throw progressively more money & developers at the problem) don't seem to having much success with WP.

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