The other day we reported on Google Maps no longer working on Windows Phone 8 devices. I suggested that this was hopefully an error and not on purpose. Unfortunately, it has now been confirmed this was totally a Google approved move.
Here is Google’s official statement as to why we can no longer get access to their maps on Windows Phone 7 and 8 devices:
The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.
While that alone might seem like a weak reason, it is still a reason– except for the fact it seems to not be the full true. If optimization where truly the problem, Google’s Maps wouldn’t work on Internet Explorer no matter what without creating huge problems or extreme slowness.
That said, Neowin decided to put this claim to the test and changed the UserAgent to make Google Maps think that the OS wasn’t Windows Phone, and the result was that everything worked perfectly fine.
Microsoft and Google’s constant war against one another isn’t helping anyone. It is hurting Microsoft customers, and could long-term affect other platform customers as well if Microsoft decides to retaliate through similar moves like restricting Skype access.
I understand competition and that you need to keep up with your rivals, but I really don’t get these kinds of anti-competitive tactics. I also don’t really get the patent wars that are going on with companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google. Maybe its just me.
What do you think of Google’s move to restrict Maps from Windows Phone users? Should they have the right to do these kinds of restrictive moves against Windows, while allowing open access to other competitors like iOS? Share your thoughts below.