YouTube for Windows Phone? Get more users to the platform first: Sundar Pichai

Google and Microsoft’s strained relationship has seen regular outbursts in the past six months. Most times, Google’s apps are the bone of contention between the two companies, especially the back-and-forth about the development of a full-fledged YouTube for Windows Phone app.

Speaking at AllThingsD’s D11 event, Google’s Chief of Android and Chrome, Sundar Pichai has offered an explanation about the company’s stance: Windows Phone has not achieved critical mass yet for Google to invest in making apps for the platform.

Get more users first (Image Credit: AllThingsD)

Get more users first (Image Credit: AllThingsD)


“We want to reach as many people as possible,” Pichai replied to the question why Google was not keen on developing much for Windows Phone 8 or BlackBerry while it showered its attention on iOS. Talking about Google’s video streaming service in particular, the Android boss added that for platforms like BlackBerry and Windows Phone that do not have many users at scale, the HTML5 mobile web version of YouTube should be a great option in the meanwhile. "If they get more users, we will make apps,” he said.

These comments by Pichai come after a high-profile spat between Google and Microsoft over YouTube comes to an end. Microsoft had earlier this year accused Google of hindering the development of a proper YouTube app for Windows Phone. Earlier this month, Microsoft released its own, natively-built version of the video-sharing service, much to the delight of Windows Phone users. Unfortunately, their happiness was short lived since Google issued a cease-and-desist notice to Microsoft over the app, asking the company to pull YouTube for Windows Phone from its store.

On the very day the app was supposed to be pulled, Microsoft ended up updating the app to somewhat comply with YouTube’s terms of services. While it did not add the capability to run ads on the app, it removed the feature where users could download videos. The companies then came to an understanding, announcing that they will be working together to build a YouTube app for Windows Phone in a joint effort. The app should release sometime next month.

Surely, at this juncture where it looked like both companies had pressed for ceasefire, Pichai’s comments about Windows Phone lacking “critical mass” is going to fuel some tempers in the Microsoft offices. Hopefully, this will not derail the efforts of the companies to serve the Windows Phone audience.


Published Date: May 31, 2013 09:48 am | Updated Date: May 31, 2013 09:48 am