Originally Posted by Stealth Pyros
Like I said you were right in that part, there were no previous violations by MS before the Youtube issues started.
What I meant by Google "gave" them and iOS a "poor" app is that they didn't give them a good one (or one at all) because they honestly had no obligation to do so. Why should I
have to make an app for YOUR OS that lets your users use my service? If your users want a particular good app for their devices, it's all on you to provide it to them, whether that means making it yourself or paying the provider of the service (Youtube) to get one made.
If MS can do it fine on the Xbox, what's stopping them from doing it on WP? What's stopping them from simply embedding Youtube videos into a more well designed app? "We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide." WHAT permission? You already do it on your Xbox. I'm not concluding anything. We have to wait and see what Google responds with to make further judgement. I just don't see why MS can't just bring in the ads. When you embed a video from Youtube into any forum, the ad plays. They seem to intentionally be avoiding the ad stream.
Bold part above: You hit the nail on the head there. Microsoft has tried to get Google to make a proper YouTube app for WP which was shot down by Google, because the platform doesn't have a large enough userbase to warrant the time and effort of making one. So Microsoft made their own (which is exactly what you said they should do) and release it - only to have Google demand that they take it down. What exactly is Microsoft supposed to do instead? (I'll address the ad revenue subject further on).
As for the API, I'll admit that I'm not familiar with the YouTube API, but if it works in the same way every other API I've ever come across, you have to register a device/user and get an API key which is used to access the service. Each API key would be specific to a type of device and will and will allow certain actions based upon what the device is capable of. So, I would imagine that the Xbox has an API key of its own, which says that it's a console capable of rendering full web content and will effectively work the same way as a browser but in a new skin. For Windows Phone, however, it would require another API key which would be configured for a mobile device (therefore restricting the videos that can be played on it).
By denying Microsoft an API for Windows Phone (i.e, an API key for a mobile device), Google is essentially blocking Microsoft from accessing Youtube's services through the official methods.
RE: Bringing in an advert.
The adverts are contextual, and are loaded through an API for it (which Microsoft is claiming to not have access to). The actual video isn't tampered with. Since WP can't use the API, it's scraping the video location through the HTML5 site which doesn't contain any adverts. In order to show Google's adverts, they would need to be able to access the API which controls the adverts.
When you embed a Youtube video in a forum, you essentially have a little frame in the page which is calling YouTube's video player. Since the request is from YouTube's own player, it has access to the APIs.
The reason they can't just "embed" YouTube videos in a well-designed app is that embedded videos use Flash. In order to display it on a phone which doesn't have Flash, they use the HTML5 site, which I've already explained doesn't give adverts without the API.
Originally Posted by RagingCain
What proof would you like, that will allow you to agree Google can provide its service how it would like and to whomever it wants?
Google can choose who it wants to provide a service to, yes. However, they have a monopoly on that type of service and therefore are subject to anti-competitive behaviour rules. By allowing iOS and Android to have access to APIs in order to provide a high-quality app which complies with the YouTube ToS, Google are demonstrating that they are willing to allow mobile platforms to display videos while serving Google's ads.
What Google appears to be doing is actively denying Microsoft the right to do the same thing. Given that Microsoft's key competitors (Android and iOS) both have access, it can be seen as anti-competitive behaviour.
A comparison would be Microsoft allowing Apple to release a Windows version of Safari, but denying Google the ability to access the network drivers in order to make Chrome function on Windows too. And then releasing a wrapper which launches a web-emulation of Chrome which runs inside Internet Explorer.
And as we all know, Microsoft was forced to force users to choose a browser because it held a similar monopoly - it wasn't even preventing the browsers from functioning.
Originally Posted by Stealth Pyros
Yes, app downloads, for a freshly released app. Google are simply trying to get it resolved before it blows up. How many smartphone owners never look up Youtube videos? They're simply making a judgement call: they're losing (or going to be losing) more revenue from WP users avoiding ads than from desktop users with AdBlock/etc. plugins.
Key word there: "avoiding". As someone mentioned earlier, there are countless unofficial apps which do exactly the same thing as the Microsoft version, none of which have ads. More significantly, the Google approved YouTube app for WP is a link to the mobile version of the YouTube website, which does not contain any form of advertising at all. Therefore, they are not losing any revenue due to Microsoft's app, because they weren't generating any revenue to begin with. WP users can't avoid ads if they're never being served them.
And let's face it, YouTube isn't a killer app for Windows Phone. If Google is, as Microsoft alleges, trying to sabotage Windows Phone, YouTube isn't going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The website serves the basic functionality, while third party apps such as MetroTube provide a very slick in-app experience. Google isn't going to be able to cripple or impair WP by denying Microsoft an official app, it just makes Google look bad in the eyes of consumers.
Additionally, Google has previously claimed that they won't make a WP because it's uneconomical for them to do. Microsoft has borne the cost of development, all that remains is for Google to allow Microsoft to place ads on the videos, and each playback on a WP device through the app becomes a revenue stream. It's tantamount to Microsoft saying "Hey Google, we've built this app, can we use it to make you some money where you weren't making anything before?", and Google saying no.
Originally Posted by Stealth Pyros
I do see the flawed logic on Google's part there, but simply keep in mind this is a huge corporation doing it now, not just third party small-time developers. Law doesn't dictate "Hey you've been ok with all these other people doing it, you can't have issues with Microsoft doing it too." It's up to Google to go after whomever they please
. Let's see Google releasing an Android app that lets us use X Microsoft service without any ads or some other similar case. We all know MS would be all over them.
The issue/debate at hand I'm putting in here isn't that it's right or wrong. It's that Google has every right to demand what they're demanding, which is for MS to pull their app.
However, the law does allow for precedence. IANAL and I don't know the intricacies of US law, but if you look at patent and trademark laws you find that people lose if they don't actively defend/enforce their patents and trademarks. Consider the following points:
- Google has been lax in enforcing its ToS with regard to taking down apps which do not display adverts with the videos
- Its own mobile website sets the standard by not displaying adverts on Windows Phone
- Microsoft's app provides a greater or equal quality of service as the mobile site (therefore does not do YouTube an injustice by providing an inferior user experience)
- Google prevented Microsoft from complying with the ToS while allowing rival platforms the technology required to do so.
If it came down to a lawsuit, Microsoft would have a fairly strong case.
Does Google have the right to demand that Microsoft take down the app? Yes, they can do as they please. But should they make that demand? Is it in their financial interests? Is it in the interests of the end user? And does it align with Google's motto of "Don't be evil"? I'd have to answer a no to all of those.