Microsoft rolls over for Google, reverts to web player for YouTube on Windows Phone

The previous, disputed version of Microsoft's YouTube app

The previous, disputed version of Microsoft’s YouTube app

It’s been a long road for Windows Phone users wanting to watch YouTube videos in a native app on their phones, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any shorter.

In case you’re just tuning in to this saga: Microsoft and Google-owned YouTube have been engaged in a protracted fight over the software, which most recently involved Microsoft releasing a version of the YouTube app that didn’t fit all of the streaming video giant’s demands and YouTube revoking Microsoft’s API access, followed by a war of words between the two companies.

Now, there’s a way forward for Microsoft and YouTube, but it sure isn’t pretty.

When you tap on the updated Windows Phone YouTube app, you’ll be taken to a web player, much like in the early days of Windows Phone’s support for YouTube. It’s better than an app that doesn’t function, but there’s not a whole lot else to recommend it.

While Microsoft has said that YouTube’s requirements for a mobile app are “impossible” to comply with, it seems YouTube has told Microsoft that compliance is the only way forward. There’s no word yet on whether Microsoft is working to build an HTML5-based app for YouTube in accordance with the streaming video company’s past request, or if this is the best Windows Phone users can expect moving forward.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on future plans, but referred to an earlier statement from Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel David Howard blasting Google for its hardline position on the Windows Phone YouTube app.

YouTube was not available for comment at press time.

Previously on GeekWire: Google blocks Microsoft’s new YouTube app for Windows Phone — the one that was supposedly OKMicrosoft: Google’s objections to YouTube on Windows Phone ‘nothing more than excuses’

  • Guest

    Great title. Google abuses its control of YouTube to disadvantage the #3 rival to its dominant mobile OS, and that becomes “MS rolls over”.

  • panacheart

    What exactly is it that’s “impossible” to implement? It’s hard to imagine that there is a software solution that’s “impossible” for the largest software manufacturer in the world. But some details would make the article more interesting from a technical standpoint.

    • Guest

      The largest software company in the world is still limited by the constraints of the technology being dictated (HTML5) and API access provided by Google. But way to miss the point, which isn’t about the technology at all. Google themselves don’t use HTML5, nor do numerous other apps they’ve approved. So this is simply them demanding MS do something that they don’t require of themselves or others.

  • test123

    This is a stupid thing Google is doing by blocking windows Phone users to access the youtube app.