Microsoft and Google are tussling over access to YouTube on Windows Phone devices. Microsoft has released not one, but two apps on its Windows Phone Apps+Games Store, and Google has blocked both of them.
The Verge reported that Microsoft had reverse-engineered an API key for access to YouTube, a key that Google then deactivated. This, despite supposed efforts between the two tech giants to work together on a Windows Phone YouTube app.
Having such an app is important to Microsoft, which has struggled to get developers and key apps on the Windows Phone platform. Google has apparently not bothered to make its own Windows Phone app, like it did for Apple's iOS platform after Apple killed the original YouTube app.
Accordingly, Microsoft has been keen to make its own because YouTube is one of the singularly most successful services on the Internet. Unfortunately for Big Redmond, Big Search controls the gates to YouTube and closed them to Microsoft's app.
Microsoft issued a statement, saying, "Google is blocking our updated YouTube app for Windows Phone. We are working with them to resolve the issue."
Its interesting that Google hasn't released its own YouTube app for Windows Phone. Google's business model is to compile profiles of its users and to sell the results to advertisers. As such, being everywhere it can contributes data to those profiles, whether or not the company controls the platform.
Google Maps, Google search, Google+, YouTube...all of these services gather data about us that Google can then sell. As small as Windows Phone is, having a presence on the platform will result in better ad performance on Google's search engine.
Google could be using access to YouTube to get a concession from Microsoft on some other front, the same way the company tried to use Google Maps to get concessions from Apple on access to user data and other areas.
Of course, we know what happened there. Apple built its own mapping service called Apple Maps and Google then released Google Maps for iOS on its own, along with its own YouTube app.
The rules are a little different with Microsoft and Google. Microsoft could try to compete with YouTube, but in the meantime, not having access to the real deal, YouTube, is costing it customers.
Grab some popcorn. It could be a good show.