In a sneaky move, the remaining dedicated fans of Microsoft’s ill-fated Windows Phone platform have discovered a clever workaround to bypass YouTube’s restrictive ad-blocking popups. By changing their user agent string to mimic an old Windows Phone browser, users can trick YouTube into allowing uninterrupted viewing with ad-blocking enabled on other devices.
This technique was highlighted by Windows Phone user Endermanch on Twitter and further reported on by Windows Central. It represents a bit of ironic payback for Windows Phone, a platform that never reached mainstream success and was hampered by a lack of app support — including from Google.
Despite its small but passionate userbase, Google offered little support for its apps and services on Windows Phone. This starkly contrasted with Google’s friendly approach to iOS, where its apps were sometimes better than on its own Android system during early days.
The ad-blocker workaround seems like a bit of revenge from the grave of the Windows Phone users
So this ad-blocker workaround is a bit of revenge from the grave for Windows Phone users. Still, the technique is unlikely to last long before Google patches this “loophole.”
Google has become increasingly aggressive about maximizing ad views and pushing users toward its Premium ad-free YouTube subscription. The Windows Phone trick provides a new way for users to enjoy an ad-free experience and avoid annoying pop-up interruptions demanding they disable their ad blockers.
The workaround represents the constant cat-and-mouse game between ad-blocking services and platforms trying to enforce their ad-driven business models. However, it also symbolizes the ingenuity of dedicated tech communities, even for “lost causes” like Windows Phone.
While bittersweet, this small act of defiance is a fitting legacy for Windows Phone — a platform often loved by its small userbase but ultimately hampered by a lack of support and priority from Microsoft and third-parties like Google. It’s a reminder of the potential Windows Phone had, if only circumstances were different.
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