Over the past day or so, it became apparent that Google had made a move to block access for Windows Phone users access to maps.google.com. Google backed this move by saying that they would only support Webkit browsers and since Windows Phone does not have a browser that runs on this platform, these users were barred from using the service.
The Next Web was able to talk with Google who has stated that they will undo the change and allow Windows Phone users to access the service. They once again defended this move by saying it was a performance issue and not a move to weaken the Windows Phone platform. Google stated:
We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users.
In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users.
Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users.
If you read the statement carefully, although the initial statement said that Google only wanted to support Webkit browsers, the statement above makes it clear that they were targeting mobile IE users.
Knowing that Google will now restore the access is a good move on their part but it does raise concern if and when we will see Google try and take similar actions again. We can be sure that the ecosystem wars are only getting hotter and this move by Google could foreshadow the future of the web.
Source: The Next Web