It's been two years since Microsoft revamped its mobile efforts and introduced us to Windows Phone. Still, the company has a long way to go before it can stand up to the likes of Android in terms of apps. Back in October, Microsoft revealed that the Windows Phone marketplace now boasts 120,000 applications. In comparison, Google's Play Store hit a milestone of 700,000 apps around the same time. Obviously, Android's got a lot of apps that Windows Phone doesn't. However, it seems one app in particular is being kept away from Windows Phone on purpose.
According to Microsoft, Google is preventing Microsoft from offering consumers a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone. Redmond first complained about this back in 2010, claiming that Google refused to give Windows Phones the same access to YouTube metadata that was offered to Android and iOS devices. This meant Microsoft's YouTube app was actually just a browser displaying the mobile version of YouTube. Microsoft actually went as far as to complain to the European Union and the FTC about Google's conduct. This week, Microsoft raised the issue once again.
"Despite government scrutiny, Google continues to block Microsoft from offering its customers proper access to YouTube. This is an important issue because consumers value YouTube access on their phone: YouTube apps on the Android and Apple platforms were two of the most downloaded mobile applications in 2012, according to recent news reports," Microsoft's Dave Heiner wrote.
"Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy. Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers."
Heiner goes on to say that it appears YouTube itself wants all customers, Windows Phone users included, to have a great YouTube experience. However, Microsoft apparently heard last month that senior execs at Google "told [YouTube] not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."
Google hasn't been shy about the lack of Google apps available for Microsoft's mobile platform. Just last month, Mountain View said it wouldn't be developing any apps for Windows Phone or Windows 8 until the platforms acquire more users.
"We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8," Google's Clay Bavor told V3 in December.
Though Google may not have any interest in developing apps for Windows Phone (or Windows 8), refusing a competitor access to data that is made readily available to other competitors (in this case, Apple) isn't exactly conducive to a level playing field, is it? Google has yet to comment on Microsoft's allegations, but we'll be sure to update if we hear anything.