Weekend Poll: Are you annoyed at Google over the WP8 Maps kerfuffle?

Google created quite a stir earlier this week when they decided to intentionally block Internet Explorer 10 on Windows Phone 8 from accessing Google Maps, instead redirecting those trying to access Maps to the search homepage. This was despite the fact that Maps works perfectly fine on WP8 when you switch the user agent string, something that quickly caused people to point the finger at Google for deliberately trying to harm Windows Phone users.

Now Google has come out and made a statement saying that there were performance issues with Maps on Windows Phone 8, claiming that "recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps" mean they can now remove the redirect. As the block was only discovered a few days ago, and Maps worked anyway when you get around the block, the claim of "recent improvements" seems somewhat dodgy.

This weekend we want to know whether this recent kerfuffle has made you annoyed with Google. As a Windows Phone user you might understandably be annoyed with Google's practices, but then again you could be a user of a different platform that doesn't like Google's recent attitudes. Place your votes in the poll below.

Poll

Are you annoyed with Google over the maps kerfuffle?

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Thief steals iPads, nothing else, from Microsoft building

Next Story

Steven Sinofsky's latest Learning by Shipping post is all about planning

63 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I was a Windows Phone 7.5 user for about a month. It got to the point where I couldn't keep making excuses for for all the lacking features and functionality that Android and even iPhone have. WP7 is simply not a good or open experience, and WP8 is not much better. And now this Microsoft and Google battle? No thank you. For lack of a better option, I'm going back to Android.

google is very poor liar
it does not bother me that google whatever does not work on wp8, since i never use any google product.
however, google has a sinister attitude toward the role of your information in its business
they genuinely think that all information should be freely availalbe to them for their use.
i am not surprised schmidt thinks he can "help" the north korean people by visiting their tyrant leaders.

I haven't had any problems with using any of google's services but I am dead against this, they are going against net neutrility and being incredibly anti-competitive on purpose.

Damn right i'm annoyed at them.
Am i annoyed because i'm a WP8 user, yes. I'm i annoyed as an Android user, yes again. Am i annoyed as someone that believes that the future of the open web is dependent on the big companies acting in a professional manner? Yes. Ami annoyed because i use to sing Googles praises far and wide, to every client and family member? Very much so.

There is no 'standard' for touch as a lot of ill informed people keep banging on about. And you can be sure that Google and WebKit would be the first to break any standards that were set. WebKit has long since become the new ie6 and Google has lost it's way.

I think that Google is just trying to protect android and partners. Look at the patent wars Google and oems got in by Microsoft and apple. They try to fight Google the legal way and gain millions. I believe Google is just defending itself

I was glad, I do not use anything MIcrosoft unless its a repair/troubleshooting/no other alternative...I was very frustrated by their stranglehold on the home computing market, it stifled innovation and competition for years, now theres other big players and they are giving MS exactly what they deserve and it fills me with glee

Sonne said,
I was glad, I do not use anything MIcrosoft unless its a repair/troubleshooting/no other alternative...I was very frustrated by their stranglehold on the home computing market, it stifled innovation and competition for years, now theres other big players and they are giving MS exactly what they deserve and it fills me with glee

Lol, they stagnated the market? Windows is still far head of its competition.
Yes, Untill 10-15 years ago. Linux and co ran on par with NT based Windows. Due to the heaviness of the NT kernel compared to hardware available. And microkernels had the advantage.
In the period you think it stagnated, Windows XP era. Microsoft has completely redesigned and rewritten their OS from the ground up. While having no competition. The improvements and work done to their Kernel and OS is staggering and you're Linux friends are still trying to catch up. This was in 2006 my friend and we're almost 7 years further.
And in the meantime, while MS was still king and master. They created a single ecosystem out of multiple. Uniting their Xbox, Phone and Desktop into one. They now all run on NT kernels.
The xbox for example, has full server capabilities, even your average WP8 phone could theoretically be transformed into a fully featured desktop. The RT/ARM version of Windows still has a fully functional Win32API (and any .net programs for example, could run without a problem on WinRT).
This all while their only competition is in the phone segment. Neither Google or Apple or w/e are in the gaming sector even 1/100th as MS is.

Still funny how MS has been stagnating in your view. While it has advanced more alone then the rest put together.

Shadowzz said,

And in the meantime, while MS was still king and master. They created a single ecosystem out of multiple. Uniting their Xbox, Phone and Desktop into one. They now all run on NT kernels.
The xbox for example, has full server capabilities, even your average WP8 phone could theoretically be transformed into a fully featured desktop. The RT/ARM version of Windows still has a fully functional Win32API (and any .net programs for example, could run without a problem on WinRT).
This all while their only competition is in the phone segment. Neither Google or Apple or w/e are in the gaming sector even 1/100th as MS is.

Still funny how MS has been stagnating in your view. While it has advanced more alone then the rest put together.

Maybe you don't keep up with tech news but console gaming has been increasingly declining for over a year straight in month to month sales. Dedicated console gamings days are numbered, and unless you've been in a cave for the past decade you know that desktop pc use has declined dramatically, to where desktop pc sales are pretty much nil in the consumer space....so that leaves mobile, which is skyrocketing, and MS have a 3% market share. The writing is on the wall, MS is slowly crumbling.

Everyone should be annoyed by this. This is an attack on the Open Web Platform. The mobile Web is going right back to the days when sites would only Support IE's rendering engine called Trident. Now the same is happening for WebKit. Google want control over the Web platform.

Hey, Eric - Fecking - Schmidt: What ever happened to Google's "Do No Evil" mantra? Was that just for Google to do no evil to itself and to hell with everyone else?

Douchebagery, indeed!

I think This is annoying cause Google can't chose who Can or can't Access to a service as It hold a so monopolistic marketshare. Exactly as Microsoft can't chose wich browser Can or can't be installed on its OS.
Nos, I'm not a Google poweruser. I use IE or Firefox as first browser, and Chrome only for test some site I'm working on. I use first Bing and Duckduckgo as search provider, Google rarely.
I gave a Gmail account, only for specific stuff... I use googledocs only with some professionnal stuff cause some of my contacts are on Google. I was using Analytics wich is a powerful Tools but I woold like to stop using It cause It has a too string influence about things we do, things are now made for It and not only mesurer by It. Tanks to the french internet provider Free (that its name) featuring now a adblocker direct on the box, Analytics Will be blocked ! That's a great scandal here in France but only for advertisers, consumers are ok on It.
I use Skydrive instead of Gdrive, I think Skydrive is a lot better and really multi-Platform. I don't use G+... I have already enough to do with Facebook and Twitter... I'm not a great vidéo watcher, I only visit youtube when a site link me to.
There is only Google Reader... I use It everyr Day to Read and sync my feeds on my desktop, laptop, Surface and WPhone (with the very good app FeedReader multi-device app...

So now if obscure forces want an only Apple-Google web world, It will be without me.

Now, here's a problem for Google.

They admit they were restricting access to WP browsers... fine. Changing the user agent on WP browsers circumvented the restriction and the people had pretty much the same experience as before.

There are various accessibility standards websites can be held accountable to with regards to equal access being provided to all people: normal, deaf, blind... follow me yet?

Those laws, statutes and regulations may vary a bit from place to place, but those regulations stipulate everyone must have equal accessibility to public services. And they are all but universally applied to high-profile corporations or entities such as public services, government access and such.

Google and its services such as Maps or Navigation could be considered high-profile corporations required to be compliant with regulations requiring equal access to the disabled.

If I were legally blind, and had a Windows Mobile 8 phone where Google Maps worked, but then didn't work, Google would be negligent and in defiance of the ADA simply by denying equal access to a ubiquitous service.

That is just stupid, why?
Because there is no equal access requirements as Google Maps is a private service, not a public service. They are not under any contract to provide this service for any public sector organisation in an accessible way.

A blind person would not use Google Maps as they wouldn't be able to see the map, even with diminished vision (as oppose to completely blind), as there is no low-vision accessibility on any of Google Maps' supported platforms.

and nowhere close to the mark...
Because providing accessibility has nothing to do with the platform used. They are not denying Google Maps to anyone because they are deaf, they are denying it because they are using an unsupported platform and they just happen to be deaf. There is nothing in this related to accessibility features that has been stopped. If someone required the accessibility, they would simply need to use iOS or Android if Windows Phone doesn't fit the bill.

Edited by Simon-, Jan 7 2013, 4:40pm :

Simon- said,
That is just stupid and nowhere close to the mark.

Don't get out much do you?

National Association of the Deaf wins suit against Netflix over closed-captions. http://digitalcommons.law.scu....1092&context=historical

National Federation of the Blind v. Target, where the court held that Target's obligations to comply with the ADA in its offline retail stores extended to its website.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N...Blind_v._Target_Corporation

Edited by abecedarian paradoxious, Jan 7 2013, 12:24am :

Point is, it worked fine before and 'suddenly' its performance isn't good, so because Google "cares" about us Windows Phone users, they need to improve performance by removing support "temporarily". What a load of SHYTE.
More like, Google are a bunch of cry-babies and decided to annoy Microsoft and in turn, hurt consumers to make a point. Now that its become well known and most likely backfired on Google, they make a crock spiel about how they will fix it.
I personally use Nokia/Bing Maps and Nokia Drive+ and I couldn't care less about Google's Maps. I HATE GOOGLE and will never use their crap again especially since they removed Exchange ActiveSync support... UMMM WHY?? Because their butt-hurt at Microsoft (and in my opinion probably because Microsoft makes more money off Android than Google probably does) and removing EAS has hurt every ecosystem like iOS, Android and Windows Phone users... BUT.. Stop being so cheap and hurting consumers who need your services. If you have an issue with Microsoft, do it in a way that doesn't hurt people that rely on your services for their business's etc.

The best thing Microsoft can do at this point, is to make Bing and Nokia Maps the best it can be and truly compete with Google in other services as well. Google is nothing more than an advertising business that sells your privacy at any chance it can IMO.

Edited by Simmo3D, Jan 6 2013, 7:28am :

Gasoau said,
What if Microsoft block's google software.

(that is sarcasm by the way for anyone stupid enough to believe that)

Edited by Simon-, Jan 7 2013, 3:44pm :

Simon- said,

(that is sarcasm by the way for anyone stupid enough to believe that)

Sarcasm, on the internet? SURELY NOT!

Even a Android user like me feel it is unreasonable for Google to do such a thing.

Anyway just saying, Neowin seems to love to cover this story? This is like the 4th article on this topic even when it is just happened ytd?

I had the same opinion until I understand why it was removed
Google Maps have received several change lately and I'm sure Google will continue it's push

some function need touch event like w3c intended
IE10 mobile do not support these so google redirected

the only thing google should have one is redirect with a message that the browser is not compatible because of touch event

TechJunkie81 said,
"Touch Event" is not a standard. And it's not even being worked on.
It's a proposal.

Silly monkey, HTML5 is still "draft", or rather "W3C Candidate Recommendation".
NOTHING IN HTML5 is a standard yet.

abecedarian paradoxious said,
It's a proposal.

Silly monkey, HTML5 is still "draft", or rather "W3C Candidate Recommendation".
NOTHING IN HTML5 is a standard yet.


yes but the original touch events are not being worked on, a new touch event is being worked on though with MS as the primary developer but sharing all code with the standards body.

its practically agreed that the old tough events will die due to technical limitations and that the new proposal will be its replacement. So this new MS developed touch even is far more standards than the old one.

google do not like this though, hence toys thrown from pram and dummy on floor.

These "Tit for Tat" spats harm no one but the consumer. Time the Tech Companies grow up and think about there customers (on or off platform)

There is no standard. The doc you refer to is an editor draft specification, which is not a standard. There are many stages left to go through before it is an actual standard, and the last I heard it was not being actively worked on, which is why the specification proposed by Microsoft is making its way through the standards body. Microsoft has developed components for IE that conform to the new proposal, including webkit browsers. Just because a developer puts this in their browser does not make it a standard, otherwise Netscape's blink tag would be flooding the internet with flashing text and images. Of course, when Microsoft adds extensions, DHTML, the precursor of what we see in browsers, the DOM, and CSS today, they are criticized for adding proprietary extensions. Webkit has proprietary extensions (the touch events are not standard, and therefore proprietary) and you criticize Microsoft for not having them.

nohone said,
There is no standard. The doc you refer to is an editor draft specification, which is not a standard. There are many stages left to go through before it is an actual standard, and the last I heard it was not being actively worked on, which is why the specification proposed by Microsoft is making its way through the standards body. Microsoft has developed components for IE that conform to the new proposal, including webkit browsers. Just because a developer puts this in their browser does not make it a standard, otherwise Netscape's blink tag would be flooding the internet with flashing text and images. Of course, when Microsoft adds extensions, DHTML, the precursor of what we see in browsers, the DOM, and CSS today, they are criticized for adding proprietary extensions. Webkit has proprietary extensions (the touch events are not standard, and therefore proprietary) and you criticize Microsoft for not having them.

+1

There is no standard.

MS is part of that working group, so they know about it. Really poor to see them working directly against it.

Phalanger said,

MS is part of that working group, so they know about it. Really poor to see them working directly against it.

Much like Google develops their own video codec, forces it upon people, and claims they are standards based? Or how about that web scripting language they developed, DART, that they want to force upon the web without any standards body? Microsoft developed VBScript and learned their lesion, so when they wrote TypeScript, it is a developer time script that compiles to JavaScript and runs on all browsers.

Over the years Microsoft has developed their own proprietary extensions to the web (ActiveX is just as proprietary as Java is, being they both use the object tag, or extensions like FF use), but they have changed, and now fit their development tools to fit the web, while Google fits the web to their development tools.

Phalanger said,

MS is part of that working group, so they know about it. Really poor to see them working directly against it.

It's not poor at all. As the name suggests, touch events are limited to touch whereas pointer events encompass touch, pen and other inputs. Touch events are not a standard, they're effectively a Webkit extension and Google shouldn't be using them as they've now admitted.

nohone said,
There is no standard. The doc you refer to is an editor draft specification, which is not a standard.

Touch Events version 1 is definitely not an editor draft specification. http://www.w3.org/TR/touch-events/ The specification is edited by mozilla and opera. The reason it has stopped being updated is because it a second version of the standard is being worked on. https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/webeven...w-file/tip/touchevents.html (Touch Events version 2) is being worked on.

I've never understood the mentality of "it's not a standard, so MS doesn't have to support it, but google must write to Microsoft's API"

I am a WP user but I don't use any google services, not even youtube. It bothers me only for the fact that these types of companies should be held accountable for their childish behavior. As a WP user Nokia Maps offers a far better experience and Nokia Drive is second to none and Nokia Transport for larger cities also is very good.

korupt_one said,
I am a WP user but I don't use any google services, not even youtube. It bothers me only for the fact that these types of companies should be held accountable for their childish behavior. As a WP user Nokia Maps offers a far better experience and Nokia Drive is second to none and Nokia Transport for larger cities also is very good.

Agreed. There's no need to use Google's dodgy services.

Well when I need to go somewhere, I have the GPS in my car. I rarely use any map services anyway, so this doesn't bother me much. But if google does this to scare users away from WP, I think they may push people further away from google products.

To be clear there aren't a lot of people who were affected by it since there are several navigation apps for almost every major service on Windows Phone including Google, Bing, Nokia, and Garmin.

It's just shocking the extent to which Google is willing to go to harm their competitors and punish their own users. All they've accomplished is to push me further away, even if I don't always use Windows or IE I will try to use services not controlled by Google. Don't want to get caught in the middle of Google's petty battles for domination.

farmeunit said,
How is that?

Chrome, claims to be all web but has some custom APIs (e.g. joystick API)
Search, block some results do to DMCA claims
Youtube, automatic filters will block any video that seems to violate copyrights

The only thing I think is open by google the most is Android atm.

MS' WP browser does not support the HTML5 touch events, instead they are trying to force people to code to MS' ones. This is why it was blocked. MS is trying to force their old IE ticks.

Phalanger said,
MS' WP browser does not support the HTML5 touch events, instead they are trying to force people to code to MS' ones. This is why it was blocked. MS is trying to force their old IE ticks.

No. That is complete bogus. First of all any touch events in html5 are not standards and practically have has their development halted. That aside, Google have now come out and said that they pulled it for some other complete bulls*** reason but due to an update to "mobile ie", even though mobile ie is virtually no different to "desktop ie" they both use identical engines wp7/ie9, wp8/ie10 they will be able to re enable it! Yep there has been no update to ie so it should be pretty clear by now that this is yet another stab at googles only real competition, WP. This is just a warm up act to see how consumers will react and to see how/what they can get away with.

Google is evil, there is no doubt about it, first killing off many of their services then killing EAS to try and force users to Android (the iOS app is basically unusable) all this in the name of "openness" even though it is mire closed. Now this? What will they do next?

Sickening and what more, they are trying to take shots at Microsoft but are missing and hitting consumers. Bad idea.

Phalanger said,
MS' WP browser does not support the HTML5 touch events, instead they are trying to force people to code to MS' ones. This is why it was blocked. MS is trying to force their old IE ticks.

Google have admitted that they developed their mobile maps site using Webkit extensions rather than standard HTML.

Phalanger said,
MS' WP browser does not support the HTML5 touch events, instead they are trying to force people to code to MS' ones. This is why it was blocked. MS is trying to force their old IE ticks.

Total rubbish. Read up on WebKit and how much it pushes it's propriety hooks. WebKit is very much the new ie6

IE6 all over again
IE10 mobile do not support touch event
that's why they stopped the support for maps in WP

maybe if Microsoft woul allow Firefox in their Store you would have alternative browser and could use maps

I think what people really hate is change of stance. Google who once used to drum around about openness and multi platform compatibility are doing completely opposite these days. The company is confused in deciding their target audience. Open platform doesn't always mean you have to drop proprietary standards like EAS and adopt a substandard open tech. Compatibility needs to be ensured. Result: I instantly dropped gmail and switched to outlook.com. Whose loss? Google's, not mine! ..and since when did Google start to care about user experience for Windows Phone users? They could release a simple Maps app just like iOS for WP7/8.

They should at least be clear like Apple or Microsoft regarding which platform they are going to support. I myself don't use any Google services besides search.

However I do have a few die hard Google fans as friends who will hand over their soul on a silver platter when Eric Schmidt demands it. Even they are not happy regarding this douche move by Google.

Edited by d5aqoëp, Jan 6 2013, 6:41am :

I think what people really hate is change of stance. Google who once used to drum around about openness and multi platform compatibility are doing completely opposite these days.

I think you missed the part where they redirected because WP IE does not support HTML5 touch events making the maps useless. MS is instead trying to force people to use their custom not HTML5 touch events. You should be banging at MS' door, not Google's.

Jamie Holdroyd said,
Well at least it'll be fixed soon, but it is annoying that it even happened in the first place.

The problems will not be fixed anytime soon. Google sites will still ignore IE setting that asks for the desktop version of their sites instead of mobile. Google sites will still give you a feature-phone WAP version of the site instead of the mobile site designed for smartphones. Google will still continue to deny developers YouTube APIs so that they can develop reliable apps and will continue to randomly break 3rd party YouTube apps. Google will still continue to not develop apps for Windows Phone or Windows 8. Maybe Google can afford to ignore Windows Phone users, but Windows 8 will even in a worst case scenario sell hundreds of million of copies; ignoring that market is flat out stupid.

Google's intention is to stifle competition from Microsoft and they believe denying a quality experience of their sites and services on Windows Phone is an effective way to achieve that goal.

Phalanger said,

I think you missed the part where they redirected because WP IE does not support HTML5 touch events making the maps useless. MS is instead trying to force people to use their custom not HTML5 touch events. You should be banging at MS' door, not Google's.

Was there even a need to redirect? People would have eventually found out that it's Microsoft's fault. But Google can simply release a basic Maps App which they won't. Read my reply again as I have mentioned this.

So because MS has gone off standards being draft by a working group it is part of (and boasting of following finally) Google should make a work around?

NesTle said,
IE6 all over again
IE10 mobile do not support touch event
that's why they stopped the support for maps in WP

] I would love to create a slap event for you and google. So explain to me why the google maps site on windows phones work fine panning, zooming and opening the menus? Google got exposed, stop trying to defend this evil company.

maybe if Microsoft woul allow Firefox in their Store you would have alternative browser and could use maps


NesTle said,
IE6 all over again
IE10 mobile do not support touch event
that's why they stopped the support for maps in WP

maybe if Microsoft woul allow Firefox in their Store you would have alternative browser and could use maps


huh, that's weird, cause, I used UC browser, which is definitely not IE and maps still didn't work.