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Google Removing Maps Redirect for Windows Phones

By - Source: The Next Web | B 12 comments

Google may have just removed Maps functionality for IE due to competition...

Last week, there was quite a bit of controversy stirred when various outlets reported that Google was blocking Maps from Windows 8 phones. Google then released the following statement in response: "The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web."

Any Windows 8 phones attempting to navigate to the web version of Google Maps would be redirected to Google.com, meaning that Windows 8 users would be stuck with Microsoft's Bing Maps.

Now it turns out that the mobile web version of Google Maps could have been on new Windows 8 phones all along. Google just made the decision to redirect Windows phones to the Google homepage due to lacking performance on older phones.

Google's now decided to remove the redirect for Internet Explorer on Windows phones, and released the following statement in regards to the issue: "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 Google.com 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."

According to The Next Web, users with Windows phones previously had access to Google Maps. It's not clear why Google recently decided to remove Maps functionality for IE. Though Google states that it was purely a product decision, it's possible that Google may have done so simply because Microsoft is a competitor.

 

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 8, 2013 7:50 AM
    Since their recent close call with anti-trust/monopoly regulators, they are going full steam ahead. Normally I wouldn't care, but Microsoft still hasn't recovered (nor has the world economy) from the Clinton Justice Deparment anti-trust investigation at the height (creating the bust) of the tech bubble, and the Europeans are still focused on Microsoft as if Internet Explorer is the only browser in the world. Fair is fair, and the close google become to a public utility, they closer they should face the same scrutinty.
Other Comments
  • -2 Hide
    diddo , January 8, 2013 7:32 AM
    I hope Google will not check Maps layout on IE.
    Maybe this time MS will start deploying a decent rendering engine instead of the current one that is happily raping webmaster's layouts since 1995...
  • -6 Hide
    virtualban , January 8, 2013 7:35 AM
    and conforming to web standards also
  • Display all 12 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 8, 2013 7:50 AM
    Since their recent close call with anti-trust/monopoly regulators, they are going full steam ahead. Normally I wouldn't care, but Microsoft still hasn't recovered (nor has the world economy) from the Clinton Justice Deparment anti-trust investigation at the height (creating the bust) of the tech bubble, and the Europeans are still focused on Microsoft as if Internet Explorer is the only browser in the world. Fair is fair, and the close google become to a public utility, they closer they should face the same scrutinty.
  • -3 Hide
    killerclick , January 8, 2013 8:40 AM
    Don't know why Google did this in the first place. Not like Windows Phone is a threat, and the bad press they got outweighs any detrimental effect this move may have had on the competition.
  • -5 Hide
    ingtar33 , January 8, 2013 10:15 AM
    need to check your sources tom's... i read the original article, the author admits error with his report. Users were mistaking the Bing redirect for being Google Maps for years on windows phones (because bing maps is a cheap knock off i guess that makes sense)... google maps has never been available on windows phones. The original article made windows phone users realize that they couldn't get maps, and were being redirected to Bing... they mistakenly thought this was a new thing, and as a result the net was flooded with a fake controversy.
  • 5 Hide
    robholden , January 8, 2013 12:17 PM
    ingtar33need to check your sources tom's... i read the original article, the author admits error with his report. Users were mistaking the Bing redirect for being Google Maps for years on windows phones (because bing maps is a cheap knock off i guess that makes sense)... google maps has never been available on windows phones. The original article made windows phone users realize that they couldn't get maps, and were being redirected to Bing... they mistakenly thought this was a new thing, and as a result the net was flooded with a fake controversy.


    That's wrong, Google have admitted that they have recently added a redirect against all users how navigate to maps.google.com (or in fact any local google domain, co.uk, .fr etc), previously users could navigate to google maps (no matter how bad the experience actually was)...

    What google have stated though is that they have never officially supported maps on windows phone, but did not previously actively block anything.
  • 3 Hide
    master9716 , January 8, 2013 12:25 PM
    With great power comes great responsibility , Google has been a good high power to have along .This move reminds me of Apple .
  • 5 Hide
    TeraMedia , January 8, 2013 1:13 PM
    Back in 2005, I had an HP iPAQ 6945 running Windows Phone 5. It supported google maps, using a downloadable program from Google that provided all of the functionality available on the desktop web version at that time. The number of units of this device in the marketplace must have been smaller than the number of Windows 8 phones, and yet they wrote code for it. Here, they're blocking access to a web site? Come on, Google... do no evil.
  • -6 Hide
    kellybean , January 8, 2013 1:22 PM
    And the convicted monopolist MS is is white as the wind driven snow. IE has never complied with the WEB standards and they had to bribe the committee to get their Office format a ISO standard.
  • 4 Hide
    cknobman , January 8, 2013 1:45 PM
    If Google was going to redirect MS phone browsers because of poor performance than they should make some kind of redirect on their Andriod phones for the POS Google Search they put on my Nexus S. That is about the slowest damn thing I have ever seen.

    Starting to get sick of Google one bit at a time.
  • 2 Hide
    mcd023 , January 8, 2013 1:52 PM
    I watched a video of someone who got the google maps to run on a windows phone by hacking the phone to tell google it was an HTC android phone. It worked fine. But, then again, so does Bing (7/7.5) and Nokia Maps (8)
  • -1 Hide
    k7mm , January 8, 2013 3:02 PM
    I think this is like IE defaulting to MSN.

    I think the best thing Microsoft could have done is break itself up.
    OS in one company, Apps and services like office another company, and everything else like Xbox to another company.
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