Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 5th Jan 2013 14:53 UTC
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y And so this situation is starting to get ridiculous - and consumers are, as usual, caught in the middle of it all. Google has just blocked Windows Phone devices from accessing Google Maps on their phones. In addition, it also seems Windows Phone users are now restricted to the basic HTML version of the mobile GMail website. While understandable from a defensive perspective - Microsoft's extortion scheme targeting Android device makers and all that - it's still a massive dick move that only hurts consumers. Update: the media attention has worked - Google is backpedalling, and will remove the redirect. "We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users. In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users. Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users."
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Member since:

Its largely irrelevant if its poetic justice for Microsoft, it is detrimental to the web as a whole.

WebKit is as much as a threat to the web today as Microsoft was with IE back in the day.

And it really isn't WebKit's fault, they are victims of their own success and of the snails pace that the W3C moves at. This only serves to highlight a fundamental deficiency in this design by committee process.

Web developers really, largely, hold no allegiance. They will flock to whatever gives them the maximum coverage.

WebKit has a lot of functionality in vendor prefixed form, and using old implementations of recently updated specs. Again, a by product of the speed at which the W3C works.

Just as web developers naturally started developing for IE instead of for the web, the developers of today are targeting WebKit. On Mobile its defacto.

This normally wouldn't be an issue if the W3C didn't take 20 years for a standard because developers would have reasonably similar functionality across all of their browsers. But it does, and it is.

While Google's intent today may or may not have been malicious (I'll take their word that it was what they figured to be a sensible product decision), it does underscore a need to have a conversation about the state of the web.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Valhalla Member since:

While I agree that having one browser engine set the standards for the web is bad, it's certainly not comparable to the IE situation.

Anyone can implement Webkit, for free, that includes Microsoft.

That does not mean I like the idea of Webkit becoming a requisite for a fully functional web experience, particularly as I am not using webkit in my browsing (Firefox).

Reply Parent Score: 3

lucas_maximus Member since:

It is exactly the same situation as what happened with IE, Firefox and Opera will suffer the same as a result.

Reply Parent Score: 2

UltraZelda64 Member since:

Everyone seems to be forgetting that Webkit and Trident are not the only two browser engines out there, and Trident is basically as single-platform as it gets so it's already limited. How about Gecko and Presto? And also the fact that Google has further explained the reasoning, claiming that IE for Windows Phone simply gave a poor experience?

Let's not forget that it's not even all of Trident that was not working... desktop versions of Windows Internet Explorer apparently worked fine, and were therefore unaffected. Perfectly understandable to me, and it comes to me as absolutely no surprise that a Trident-based browser would have trouble rendering something.

Move on. Google has already explained, is working to solve the problem if it hasn't been done already, and all it produced a day of whining. Like I said several times, Microsoft has done far worse themselves with absolutely no good excuse and without turning around over the course of a day.

Edited 2013-01-06 15:41 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

lucas_maximus Member since:

Except it is total bullshit, because IE on Windows Phone since 7.5 has been IE9 and more recently on Windows Phone 8 been IE10.

The IE release didn't change in the last 24hours.

Reply Parent Score: 2