Google Lashes Out Again At Windows Phone…
..Shutting down Windows Phone access to Google Maps. Eventually having been called on this they recanted and claim that Windows Phone Users will once again be allowed access to Google Maps.
You can read all about the background to this and some interesting claims made by Google via TheNextWeb including allegations that this all happened as a result of testing Google Maps on IE for Windows Phone. Based on my own experience with Google Maps on Windows Mobile and Windows Phone I’m struggling not to come right out and suggest this might be so much <fill in as you deem fit>
So, let’s keep this in historical context:
- In my post of December 19th I spoke about Google’s Winter Cleaning which includes shutting down Windows Phone access to ActiveSync with Google services. Unless Microsoft is prepared to adopt Google’s new CardDAV then consumers will either have to choose between a Windows Phone or Google services (unless you are a paid G-Apps user).
- Microsoft’s shiny new YouTube App for Windows Phone runs aground. Why? Because according to WPCentral Google allegedly blocked Microsoft access to many of the features other phones have.
- The FTC shut the book on an antitrust investigation against Google with pretty much a slap on the wrist, a grin and a wink.
Why are Google behaving this way?
Darth Vader clip with thanks to YouTube User sasukeshippuden
Google’s Selective Ethics or <redact YOU!> Windows Phone
Far be it from me not to cite Google’s Code of Conduct or to refer you to their “Ten things we know to be true” but go ahead and read these and ask yourself if Google aren’t embracing the Dark Side just a little bit?
What are Google’s management so annoyed or afraid of when it comes to Windows Phone?
I don’t believe that this is about Microsoft making more money through patents or licensing on Android than Google or the Google Mail Man ads that snipe at Gmail for indexing your mail.
Is Google Losing Their Grip?
There are very few products that Google does not have to compete with Microsoft over the market share. Some of them Google seems to be winning at.
However, the open warfare in the mobile arena seemed to really start up when Microsoft announced that Office was coming to iOS and Android in early 2013.
Microsoft is slowly gearing up for competition in the arena of handsets and tablets and so far the future has possibilities. Now couple that with Office, real Microsoft Office on Android and maybe what we are seeing from Google isn’t aggression, its abject fear over losing the productivity market.
Office as the frontend app of choice is also going to influence servers, cloud infrastructure and many other strategic (read big money) purchasing decisions.
Whatever Happens and for Whatever Reason…
Google seems to have confused attacking Microsoft and attacking consumers. Whilst most Windows Phone users have very little interest in using Google Maps (from what I have seen in forums and comments on other blogs) this seems to indicate a bigger problem ahead for consumers.
My advice to Microsoft is simple. The best response here is to ensure that Office for iOS / Android is a killer product that wows Android users away from Google services. The best payback is winning and winning with class.
Note: I wrote this article over the weekend when Google had already promised to revoke the block on Google Maps on Windows Phone. As of now tests on Google maps on .com, .co.uk, .co.il and several others show this is still in place.