On Friday, some WIndows Phone 8 users discovered that you can no longer access the Google Maps website via devices running Windows Phone 7 or 8. While on the surface it seems like Google is deliberately crippling its own services on a competing mobile operating system, there’s much more to the story than meets the eye.
The mobile version of Google Maps never officially supported Windows Phone, because the version of IE that comes with it doesn’t have the WebKit support that Maps needs to work properly. That doesn’t mean that Google isn’t intentionally blocking Maps on phones that run Microsoft’s OS, but it’s more likely that the company fixed a bug that allowed these unsupported devices access in the first place.
Since Google doesn’t seem too keen on developing apps for Windows Phone—the company has a search app that hasn’t been updated in over a year—and with the search giant reportedly preventing Microsoft from building a proper YouTube app, it’s unlikely that this development will make Google more popular with either Microsoft or the Windows Phone users out there who use its services.
Google may be pushing for people to buy into using devices that run Android, but if the company can make its offerings work on iOS then it can definitely do the same for Windows Phone.