Microsoft recently released a YouTube application for Windows Phone because they were tired of waiting for Google to write one for them. Said app has some features that Google doesn’t like, namely the total lack of advertising and the ability to download videos for offline use. Those two features violate YouTube’s terms of service, and Google wants Microsoft to take the app off the market by May 22nd.
Instead of complying with Google’s request, Microsoft issued a statement saying they’d be more than happy to insert ads in their YouTube application, but they can’t since they don’t have access to Google’s private APIs.
Both companies are acting a bit dickish, but I’m going to have to side with Google here, and not because I run an Android site, but because Microsoft clearly broke the rules. There’s an Android app I use called TubeMate that allows me to download YouTube videos. Google banned it, so I had to grab it from a third party app store. Now it’s one thing for an indie developer to step on Google’s toes, but this is Microsoft we’re talking about here.
What should happen? Google should offer to build a YouTube application for Windows Phone if Microsoft speeds up the development of Office for Android. I fundamentally believe that, as adults, both companies can sit together in a room and hammer out a contract in the span of a work day.