Microsoft takes Google to task over YouTube Windows Phone experience

Microsoft HQ

Microsoft has hit out at search giant Google for failing to provide it with a fully-featured version of the YouTube app for Windows Phones.

In a scathing blog post, Dave Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, said - despite being subject to several ongoing antitrust investigations - Google continues to act in an anti-competitive way.

We continue to be dogged by an issue we hoped would be resolved by now.

For instance, the US Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission opened separate antitrust investigations into Google's business practices two years ago.

"You might think that Google would be on its best behaviour given its under the bright lights of regulatory scrutiny on two continents," said Heiner.

"However, as we enter 2013, that is not the case."

He then accuses Google of preventing Microsoft from providing Windows Phone users with access to a "fully featured" version of the YouTube app that would allow them to search for videos by category, find favourites or view their ratings.

"We continue to be dogged by an issue we hoped would be resolved by now," he wrote.

"We formally raised this concern almost two years ago with the European Commission...[and] we've discussed this matter with the US Federal Trade Commission, which is also investigating Google's misconduct."

Heiner claims the issue is putting Microsoft at a disadvantage, as YouTube was among one of the most downloaded apps by smartphone users in 2012, and that Google seems in no great hurry to rectify this.

"It appears YouTube would like all customers to have a great YouTube experience, [but] just last month we learned...that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phone," he said.

"Google dismisses [antitrust] concerns as little more than sour grapes by one of its competitors, but the reality is that consumers and competitors alike are getting scroogled' across the web on a daily basis from this type of misconduct," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.