Microsoft appears to have gained a concession from Google over the use of its You Tube API. In return for taking down its controversial Windows Phone 8 app, You Tube is now working with Microsoft to produce an official, fully-complaint You Tube app.
As we reported last week, see Google Takes On Ad-Blocker Microsoft for the full story, when Google declined to produce a You Tube app for Windows Phone 8, or provide access to the full API to make the task easy, Microsoft produced its own You Tube app by some nifty reverse engineering.
The resulting app, released on May 7th had two significant differences from the standard Google - originated smartphone You Tube App - it permitted downloads of videos and it didn't include any advertising.
It took just over a week for Google to respond with a cease-and-desist notice on May 15th which gave Microsoft until May 22nd to pull the app.
As Google's main complaint appeared to be that the lack of advertising negatively affect developers who depended on such revenue Microsoft initially responded by saying it would be "more than happy" to include advertisements if Google gave access to the APIs.
Rather than pull the app, Microsoft produced an updated version, that went part way to addressing Google's concerns by removing the video download functionality. It didn't, however, add the facility to display ads, but issued a statement:
“Microsoft updated the Windows Phone You Tube app to address the restricted video and offline video access concerns voiced by Google last week. We have been in contact with Google and continue to believe that our two companies can work together to hone an app that benefits our mutual customers, partners and content providers."
Two days later Microsoft and Google issued a joint statement:
“Microsoft and You Tube are working together to update the new You Tube for Windows Phone app to enable compliance with You Tube’s API terms of service, including enabling ads, in the coming weeks. Microsoft will replace the existing You Tube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version during this time.”
So has Microsoft exerted enough pressure on Google to be provided with the full official API?
The Verge speculates without providing a source:
But why then would it need to work together with You Tube, whose native API is the one that provides enhanced functionality?
The fine detail of the terms of this truce between Microsoft and Google are important and they influence the future for all developers wanting to use APIs that give their competitors the edge.