Google Responds to Outcry, Allows Maps Access on Windows Phone

Following widespread reporting about its refusal to allow access to Google Maps from IE, Google has done an about turn, perhaps figuring that a continued hard line will do them no good in public opinion.

As reported by The Verge, they will be providing access to Google Maps via IE “soon”.  Their response to The Verge went as follows;

“We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.

In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.

Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.”

This is contrast with their explanation just days ago, when Google talked about IE not being a “webkit-based” browser like Chrome and Apple’s Safari. However, the problem with that explanation is that IE users had access to Google Maps before the spat between the companies took a more hostile turn.

FTC Slaps Google’s Wrist, Microsoft Criticizes Ruling

Readers may also remember how Google dropped their support for Exchange ActiveSync support from creating problems for Windows Phone users of Google Docs.

In that case however, not only did they telegraph their move months before (giving Microsoft time to develop an IMAP alternative), but they had more sound and technical reasons for doing so – avoiding fees to Microsoft for Exchange ActiveSync and standardizing on the CardDAV and IMAP protocols.

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Is this latest statement a victory for Microsoft, in your opinion?

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