Surprise! (or not): Google demands Microsoft cease and desist with “official” YouTube app–Update: Microsoft responds

The Verge reports they have seen a cease and desist letter from Google to Microsoft demanding "immediately withdraw this (YouTube) application from the Windows Phone Store and disable existing downloads of the application by Wednesday, May 22, 2013."

Microsoft recently released an updated version of the official YouTube app which was somewhat provocative to Google, featuring no ads and the ability to download videos.

Google complained "Unfortunately, by blocking advertising and allowing downloads of videos, your application cuts off a valuable ongoing revenue source for creators, and causes harm to the thriving content ecosystem on YouTube."

Microsoft had earlier revealed that they had no help from Google in creating the app, making it a bit less than “official.”

When it was discovered the app did not display ads and allowed download of videos it was widely expected that Google would request the take down off the app. It seems this has now in fact become the reality.

Microsoft had previously complained about lack of cooperation from Google in creating the app, saying.

Second, 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 favorites, 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.

It seems on this occasion decided to push ahead without any cooperation. The outcome was somewhat predictable, but it may be that Microsoft is playing a long game and setting Google up for a further anti-trust complaint, based on Google’s dominance of the streaming video market.

Do our readers think Google or Microsoft is in the right? Let us know below.

Update: In a statement to Geekwire a Microsoft Spokesman said:

“YouTube is consistently one of the top apps downloaded by smartphone users on all platforms, but Google has refused to work with us to develop an app on par with other platforms. Since we updated the YouTube app to ensure our mutual customers a similar YouTube experience, ratings and feedback have been overwhelmingly positive. We’d be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs. In light of Larry Page’s comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.”

I guess the ball is now back in Google’s court?

See the letter embedded after the break.

Google letter to Microsoft

Thanks surilamin for the tip.