One week ago, Microsoft came out with a really nice overhaul for its Windows Phone YouTube app. It wasn’t long after that when we learned of a possibly big problem for this new release, as some of its behavior appeared to conflict with YouTube API terms and conditions. We wondered if Google might go so far as to take steps to disable the app. Sure enough, Google has sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter, insisting that Microsoft kill the app.
Just as expected, Google takes issue with Microsoft pulling an end-run on content producers that rely on advertising for income, as the Windows Phone app plays videos without associated promotional messages.
There is some good news, as Microsoft isn’t just going to throw in the towel. It’s responded to Google’s letter, and vows that it’s got no problem with displaying YouTube ads, but if Google wants that it’s going to have to give Microsoft access to the official APIs for doing so; after all, Microsoft’s app was always a bit of a hacky work-around. This puts the ball back in Google’s court; will it help Microsoft legitimize the Windows Phone YouTube app, or ensure that it sees a swift demise?