Microsoft answers Google’s Windows Phone YouTube app ban request: We scroogled you

Anyone who downloaded the newest Windows Phone 8 YouTube application released last week and developed by Microsoft saw this one coming a mile away. This particular application allows users to download/pre-cache videos, doesn’t display ads and can also playback restricted videos. Three consecutive strakes that are forbidden by Google’s Terms of Services. It only took the Mountain view company more than a week to send Microsoft a cease and desist letter asking for the removal of the application before May 22 (read the whole letter after the break).

Unfortunately for the search giant this was nothing more than a clever trap set by Microsoft aimed at putting Google’s hypocrisy in the spotlight as seen in Microsoft’s answer to the C&D letter:

Continue reading Microsoft answers Google’s Windows Phone YouTube app ban request: We scroogled you →

What’s missing or should be fixed in Windows Phone Mango

As you all know Mango is packed full of new features and improvements that will surely make many people happy but after more that two weeks with the Beta 2 there are still a few things that I think are missing from what has become a really great mobile OS. Most of what everybody’s been complaining about has now been changed, added or fixed so what I’m going to list below will probably go unnoticed by the average Joe but I do hope that Microsoft adds or fix some of them later (I’m not expecting much changes between the Beta and RTM version). Hit the break to see the list:

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Windows Phone 7 Mango: Embedded YouTube videos and fast tabs switching

I’m discovering interesting things in the Mango Beta 2 even after nearly 2 weeks of daily usage, nothing groundbreaking but still interesting. Firstly, Mango no longer requires the YouTube plugin “app” to playback embedded YouTube videos. But there’s a catch, the videos must be embedded with the new iFrame code and not the old code…one. If the required Iframe code is detected by the browser user will see the YouTube video correctly show up on the webpage and will be able to watch it by taping twice on it. This will then launch the OS’s native video player (not a mediaelement control like the previous solution) and stream the video in what appears to be 480P MP4 format even when using the cellular network connection (finally!). The YouTube plugin will still be required if the video is embedded with the old code. Check it out n the my short video after the break:

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Microsoft blames Google for the lack of proper YouTube application on Windows Phone 7. Seriously?

Microsoft has just filed an anti-trust complain against Google in Europe today and part of it is related to a supposed blocking of YouTube Metadata access preventing Microsoft to release a proper YouTube application for Windows Phone 7. Here’s the official word on this:

First, in 2006 Google acquired YouTube—and since then it has put in place a growing number of technical measures to restrict competing search engines from properly accessing it for their search results. Without proper access to YouTube, Bing and other search engines cannot stand with Google on an equal footing in returning search results with links to YouTube videos and that, of course, drives more users away from competitors and to Google.

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.

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Adobe Reader and YouTube plugin for Windows Phone 7 released

Adobe’ PDF reader for Windows Phone 7 and the YouTube plug-in have now been released on the Zune Marketplace. For what I can see the Adobe Reader is not the one that was announced a few days ago (I’m guessing that the X version will come later this year) but should get the job done. On the other had the YouTube Plug-in (yeah I’m not callingthis an app..) will probably disappoint some users. As previously seen this plug-in allows YouTube content embedded in web-pages, mails and sms to be played back in the native WP7 video player (and then integrate recentlyviewedvideos in the music & video hub).Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be a full blown YouTube application (to watch non-embedded YouTube videos the user will have to navigate to the mobile.YouTube site with the IE browser..).

YouTube, Twitter, Netflix, Flixter, Travelocity and OpenTable for Windows Phone 7 showcased on video

Today’s is going to be filled with Windows Phone 7 news it seems. Microsoft has just showcased several Windows phone 7 applications that will be available on launch day. The first one is the Twitter app that everybody has been waiting for, followed by an OpenTable application, Netflix, Flixter, Travelocity and finally you will see Brandon Watson doing a demo of the YouTube integration in WP7. Videos after the break:

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YouTube sort of confirmed on Windows Phone 7

Thanks to Jin  in my previous’ post comment section for pointing me out to this short hands on video from PAX10 where you can see the the person shooting the video trying to playback a YouTube video via the browser. As you can see the device prompts de user to download a dedicated application from the Marketplace which confirms what we have seen before: Microsoft is probably going to release a Music+Videos hub ad-don that will enable user to playback embedded videos on Windows Phone 7.

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Microsoft already testing third-party applications in the Windows Phone 7 MarketPlace: YouTube, Yelp

It should come as no surprise that Microsoft has already started to populated the yet unreleased Windows Phone 7 Marketplace with a couple of third-party applications alongside some in-house apps. I already saw this 2 days ago when I was at the Microsoft Campus for some WP7 development work but Justin Angel from Vertigo Software actually decided to take a screenshot of the Zune software and post it on Twitter a couple of hours ago. As you can see in the shot above Microsoft has already released the in-house applications that we saw in the Channel9 video this week and a few third-party apps are already up for grabs. (like Yelp, Hexic etc) Interestingly there’s a YouTube extension to the Music & Video hub which should make everybody happy. WP7 users will apparently be able to directly access Youtube hosted videos via the Zune Hub.

One more thing… Continue reading Microsoft already testing third-party applications in the Windows Phone 7 MarketPlace: YouTube, Yelp →