There’s some interesting tomfoolery going on between Google and Microsoft, and it’s gotten to the point where everyday Windows Phone users are being affected in a negative way. More so than before, at least.
First mentioned on The Verge, it appears that Google has completely cut off access to Google Maps for owners of devices running Windows Phone 7 and 8. Why? Google says it’s Microsoft’s fault. But Microsoft disagrees.
Multiple users who have previously been able to use Google Maps via Internet Explorer on Windows Phone are suddenly being redirected to Google’s main page. In a statement to Gizmodo, Google explains that it’s because the mobile Web version of Google Maps uses WebKit, which Internet Explorer does not. Browsers such as Chrome and Safari are a-ok.
But in a separate statement to Gizmodo, Microsoft said, “Internet Explorer in Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 use the same rendering engine.” So unless Google wants to block Windows 8 users from accessing Google Maps through the Web as well, the search giant’s statement is false, and avoids the real reason why the company blocked Windows Phone users.
Of course, Windows Phone users can still opt for services like Bing Maps/Here as alternatives, but that might not be a good enough solution for some. The relationship between Microsoft and Google has become strained (to say the least) over the past several months, and it appears Google is content with blocking Windows Phone owners outright.
Of course, Google Maps has never been officially supported on Windows Phone, as noted by The Verge, but it’s still odd that WP users are being completely cut off. It’ll be very interesting to see how this one plays out.