Google blocks Windows Phone’s YouTube app again, but may lose the PR battle

The epithet “Do No Evil” has long been a part of Google’s mantra, and the company touts it as corporate policy to this day.

But Microsoft is claiming that, despite adhering to what was asked, Google yet again cut off access to YouTube from its newly re-released Windows Phone app.

In a vitriolic post on Technet today, Microsoft’s David Howard, VP of Litigation and Antitrust, says that “Google’s reasons for blocking our app are manufactured so that we can’t give our users the same experience Android and iPhone users are getting. The roadblocks Google has set up are impossible to overcome, and they know it.”

We’ve asked Google to provide whatever information iPhone and Android. So far at least, Google has refused to give this information to us.

What’s interesting about this debacle, which doesn’t appear to be ending anytime soon, is that Google’s main request — to create a YouTube app in HTML5 — is not even present on iOS or Android. Nor is it possible using the latest version of Windows Phone 8.

To Google’s credit, it appears that Microsoft jumped the gun on re-releasing the YouTube app, as Microsoft appeared to be getting frustrated with its incomplete metadata access.

It may be true that Google is preventing Microsoft from having a native YouTube experience out of corporate spite, but more probable are the technological limitations in Microsoft’s OS, something that the company is unlikely to admit in an official blog post.

Microsoft, on the other hand, has been dealt a bad card here, as Google continues to treat Windows Phone, and Windows in general, as a second-class citizen, focusing instead on Android (obviously) and iOS (naturally, since it has such a huge install base).

We are committed to giving our users the experience they deserve, and are happy to work with Google to solve any legitimate concerns they may have. In the meantime, we once again request that Google stop blocking our YouTube app.

Neither side is benevolent, nor is Microsoft telling the whole story, but the onus appears to be on Google to “fix” the problem, not Redmond. At the very least, it seems like Microsoft is more intent on making this story into a wider-reaching diatribe about Google’s corporate ethics policy, pitting itself — the “good guys” — against the evil corporate entity in Mountain View.