Google yesterday issued a cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft, demanding Redmond pull its YouTube app from the Windows Phone Store. The app has been available for over a week; however, it violates YouTube's API usage terms. Google says Microsoft has until May 22 to withdraw or change the app before deeper consequences are triggered -- possibly even legal recourse.
Microsoft's primary offense is the app's ability to strip advertisements from YouTube videos -- an entirely deliberate feature, according to reports. Additionally, the WP8-based app provides users with ability to download videos to their devices -- another mark against Microsoft in its use of YouTube's API.
When ZDNet asked Microsoft if something had changed policy-wise, allowing them to release such a YouTube app, the company stated, "Windows Phone invested additional engineering resources against existing APIs to re-architect a Windows Phone app that delivers a great YouTube experience, including support for unique Windows Phone 8 features such Live Tiles and Kids Corner. Microsoft did not receive any additional technical support to create the Windows Phone YouTube app."
Shortly after Google issued its notice, Microsoft responded that it would be "happy to include advertising", but claims it needs Google to provide the "necessary" APIs. An "API" is a set of high-level instructions commonly used in software and web-based services, allowing developers to utilize features in a simplified way.
At the time of this writing, the app is still available for download and there have been no outward signs of Microsoft hustling to remove it.
Microsoft's official response is as follows:
"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."
The "necessary APIs" part is a bit misleading. The APIs Microsoft appears to be interested in are for metadata only; these bits and pieces of information about each video aren't really necessary for displaying ads. Rather, the difficulty for Microsoft is its desire to craft more than just a WP8 app which essentially opens to YouTube's website; the software-maker wants to build an app that follows WP8's tile-based design and sports its own look and feel. To do this though, Microsoft needs access to YouTube's video metadata -- data which Google doesn't seem eager to part with.
The Nokia Lumia 920 features a Snapdragon S4 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 4.5" IPS LCD with 768 x 1280 resolution (332 PPI). It packs an 8.7MP rear camera with a 2MP front-facing camera. The Lumia 920 runs Windows Phone 8 and is compatible with charging products based on the Qi wireless power standard. Other specs include, NFC, 1GB of RAM, and 32GB of memory with 7GB of free SkyDrive storage.
The Nokia Lumia 928 is powered by an 1.5GHz dual-core Krait processor, 1GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and a 2,000mAh battery running Windows Phone 8. The screen is 4.5″ in diagonal with 768 x 1,280 pixels resolution. Last but not least, The Lumia 928 sports Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC.
The Microsoft Surface Pro offers the flexibility of a Windows 8-based tablet as well as an ultrabook-like computer. The Surface Pro is powered by a Core i5 with Intel HD Graphics 4000, 4GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and a miniDisplayPort. It also comes with a pressure-sensitive stylus with palm-rejection technology that magnetically clips to the charging port, and a Full HD (1920 x 1080) display instead of the 1366 x 768 variety on the ARM-based model.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2 is powered by a dual-core Intel Atom Z2760 1.8GHz CPU with 2GB of RAM and 64GB of built-in storage. The ThinkPad 2 sports 10.1in touchscreen display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. Last but not least, the ThinkPad 2 runs Windows 8 Pro.
Downloads and Drivers
From the Forums
Subscribe to TechSpot
Get free exclusive content, learn about new features and breaking tech news.