This Microsoft vs Google fighting is really getting out of control now. Google are now actively blocking Windows Phones from accessing http://maps.google.com. The site now redirects to http://google.com, not Google Maps as you intended.
As we know, Google recently launched their iOS app, so this isn’t an Android only move, but rather a specific targeted attack on Microsoft and their users. A Google Spokesperson has told Gizmodo said “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.”
There’s nothing technical about this decision, if they wanted to, they could make this work. This is purely political and just wreaks of the school yard. It’s one thing to battle it out by putting your best product and services forward against the competition, but blocking users is just a jerk move Google.
Nokia users won’t really be affected by this as they have the fantastic Nokia Maps, but other Windows Phone users like those of the HTC 8X owners. I hope Google loose users out of this anti-competitive move that feels awfully close to evil.
The Verge got a new response from Google that says they will now test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience. So it turns out the previous statement about requiring webkit was BS and actually wasn’t the issue at all. It great that Google have decided to listen to the voice of consumers and will now spend the tiny amount of money required to increase compatibility. Users just won.