Not a day after Google snuck by the FTC and was cleared of any wrong doing with its services, Google has come out and blocked Windows Phone users from accessing maps.google.com. We first reported this issue yesterday and since then, it's become clear that Google's blocking of Windows Phone users from accessing the service has nothing to do with supporting the browser and has more to do with screwing the consumer.
We have posted Google's official response below, but in short, they state that they only support WebKit and IE is an unsupported browser:
The mobile web version of Google Maps is optimized for WebKit browsers such as Chrome and Safari. However, since Internet Explorer is not a WebKit browser, Windows Phone devices are not able to access Google Maps for the mobile web.
Now, if that really was the case, you would think that changing the UserAgent would result in a poor experience while using Windows Phone to access the service but that is far from the truth. The video you see below is the result of changing the UserAgent to something other than Windows Phone and guess what, Google's maps works just fine.
Why is this important? It's critical to note that the service works fine with Internet Explorer and this is nothing more than a shot at Microsoft that only impacts consumers. It's quite unfortunate that Google has gone down this path as it opens the door to many other scenarios such as what would happen if Google stopped supporting Gmail for Internet Explorer?
This is not the first example of seeing Google target Windows Phone users as the company has said that it will not build Windows Phone applications and it is currently restricting YouTube access for WP users as well. It's a bit ironic too if you look at Google's corporate values which, first on their list states, "Focus on the user and all else will follow". They should probably add an asterisk to that and put a footnote that says "unless those consumers use Windows Phone".