In what would normally be wholly unremarkable news, Microsoft just released a new YouTube app for Windows Phone. Thing is, this is actually the old version of Microsoft’s YouTube app—the one that preceded two other versions Microsoft released in the interim, both of which Google rejected in what is rapidly becoming a Keystone Kops routine for both companies.
The latest—or oldest—app is essentially just a browser shortcut to the mobile website of the Google’s media streaming site. This is the same shortcut Microsoft employed before it twice tried to build its own YouTube app, both of which Google dinged for violating YouTube’s terms of service, after which it cut off Microsoft's access to YouTube through its API key.
Microsoft confirmed that it indeed had re-released the old version of the YouTube app. As is its wont, Microsoft also pointed to its same longstanding rhetoric on Google monopoly and antitrust issues that its top lawyer David Howard pointed to last time that the company’s YouTube app was rejected by Google.
A Microsoft spokesperson sent along the company’s official statement on the matter:
Microsoft has replaced the existing YouTube app in Windows Phone Store with the previous version. Please refer to this blog post from Microsoft VP & Deputy General Counsel David Howard for Microsoft’s comment on Google’s decision to disable the YouTube app for Windows Phone.
A Google spokesperson declined to comment, but said the company will contact us if Google has an update to its stance on the issue.
As for the YouTube app on Windows Phone, users think it is fundamentally awful and often doesn’t work for their devices. A glance at the review section of the new YouTube for Windows Phone version 3.2 shows user frustration and anger.
In the end, users lose when corporations fight. Neither Google nor Microsoft is devoid of blame in this proxy war fought over YouTube, but users that want to watch or upload YouTube videos from their Windows Phones are basically collateral damage at this point.
Lead image via Tumblr user Eric Fleischauer