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Microsoft and Google Battle over Mobile YouTube App

Google this week sent a cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft this week that demanded the removal of the YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 over violations of Google's Terms of Service.

Google this week sent a cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft this week that demanded the removal of the YouTube app for Windows Phone 8 over violations of Google's Terms of Service.

According to the Google complaint, because the Windows Phone 8 YouTube app doesn't show advertisements it harms the content creators, who are compensated by ad viewership.

"Content creators make money on YouTube by monetizing their content through advertising," said the complaint. "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."

The complaint demands that Microsoft remove the app from the Windows Store by May 22, saying that users that want to view YouTube should do it through the phone's Web browser, which allows for HTML 5.

In response, a Microsoft spokesperson said that it would be willing to bring the mobile app up to Google's standards, but Google has been unwilling to work with Microsoft developers in the YouTube app creation.

"We'd be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs," said the spokesperson to Mary Jo Foley, author of the ZDnet Blog All About Microsoft and Redmond magazine columnist. "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 comments the spokesperson was referring to were made during a Q&A session with the Google CEO at this week's I/O conference in which he said the constant battles between corporations is counterintuitive: "Every story I read about Google is us versus some other company or some stupid thing," said Paige. "Being negative is not how we make progress. The most important things are not zero sum. There is a lot of opportunity out there."

This isn't the first time the two companies have battled over a YouTube app on Microsoft's mobile platform. In March of 2010, Microsoft filed a formal complaint with the European Commissions, saying Google was purposely not providing YouTube metadata for its Windows Phone app -- something Microsoft said Google provided to other competitors. Because of this, Microsoft said it forced the company to come out with an inferior version of YouTube compared to other platforms.

About the Author

Chris Paoli is the site producer for Redmondmag.com and MCPmag.com.

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