Google stormed the world stage in 2009, claiming that Android was the open sourced software that was going to revolutionize the world. Those of us who didn’t buy into the hype understood that for Android to be successful, in the long run, Google would have to tighten their standards and act like a more traditional software company.
Over the last couple of years Microsoft has been flexing is corporate muscle around the world, entering into royalty agreements with hardware OEMs that use Google’s “free” Android software. Yes, that means companies like Samsung and HTC, who together make up more than 50% of Android devices sold, must pay Microsoft a royalty (HTC pays $5 per device) because of Android software patent violations.
With the launch of Windows Phone 7, and more recently Windows Phone 8 Google is showing their true colors:
In 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favourites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.
So much for open sourced and revolutionary. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with one company blocking a rival company from providing a similar quality service and experience. It’s just annoying that Android made their name on “open sourced and different” when they’re actually “stolen and just like everyone else.”