2012 may be over but Microsoft and Google are still going at it. The latest in a long list of fiascos emerged when some reports suggested that people using Windows Phone 8 devices were not able to access Google Maps. It didn’t take long for the news to catch the wind and spread around the cyber world. Within a few hours, people from all over the world had offered their opinions on the matter prompting Google to explain the situation.
According to the tech giant, the problem was not on their end but with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Google went as far as stating that IE was not capable of rendering the Google Maps properly. Microsoft took the cue and clarified their stance, saying that the same browser was running Google Maps perfectly on Windows 8. Their point was that if it worked on Windows 8, there is no reason why it shouldn’t work on Windows Phone 8.
However, Google has finally cleared the air and admitted that it was intentionally blocking the Windows Phone 8 users from accessing Google Maps. The users who had tried to open Google Maps on their devices were taken to the Google search homepage (www.google.com). Google has backtracked spectacularly and is now saying they have changed their mind regarding the whole episode. They would no longer be blocking Windows Phone 8 users from accessing Google Maps.
In the statement issued by Google to clarify the situation, they said that Google Maps had not worked effectively on the Internet Explorer browser when they had carried out the tests. This was the reason they felt the Windows Phone 8 users should be kept from accessing the link on their devices. Google further stated that they had directed the users to the Google search page so they could search for whatever they are looking for.
The statement further mentions that Firefox is a much better browser for using Google Maps. However, they have now retracted their original position regarding Internet Explorer’s capabilities for running Google Maps. They said that the browser has come a long way since when they tested it and now was capable of running Google Maps effectively. Google has clearly said that Windows Phone 8 users would no longer be blocked from accessing Google Maps.
Google has tried to diffuse the situation in the best way possible but it is likely that they have earned the ire of many Windows Phone 8 users. It may take the Google vs. Microsoft feud to the next level. After all, it has barely been a week since Google got a clean chit from the FCC regarding its business practices. Microsoft, among other companies, was hoping that sanctions would be imposed against Google to help limit their dominance.
At the same time, Microsoft also gained a small victory as they no longer have to pay Google as much royalties as they did before. A Maps fiasco in the middle of this epic battle only spices up the proceedings. It looks like this rivalry is going to hog the headlines for the best part of the year.
[ Image via ahitagni]