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TMCNet:  Google Maps is not blocking Windows Phone, Google says

[January 04, 2013]

Google Maps is not blocking Windows Phone, Google says

Jan 04, 2013 (Los Angeles Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Google is denying reports online Friday that say the company started blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps amid tension in its relationship with Microsoft.

Nothing has changed with the Google Maps service, the company told The Times. Google Maps simply was never designed to work with the Internet Explorer browser on the Windows Phone, according to Google.

The company's specific technical explanation: "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." Reports that Google may have started cutting off Windows Phone users from Google Maps seem to have originated from a user post in the forums for the Verge, a tech news website.

A user wrote a post titled "Google maps disabled on wp8." He said attempts to reach the Google Maps website redirected him to the main Google website.

"I think google blocks it for WP users either because of compatibility issues or just to mess with MS," the user said.

That post, which went up Friday morning, received more than 50 responses and was eventually picked up by the Verge, which ran an article titled "Windows Phone users currently unable to access Google Maps through web browser." The theory that Google chose to cut off Microsoft's users may have seemed plausible because Microsoft recently blasted the Federal Trade Commission for ending an antitrust investigation on Google. Earlier this week, Microsoft also called out Google for not building a full version of its YouTube app for Windows Phone and for not letting Microsoft build one either.

___ (c)2013 the Los Angeles Times Visit the Los Angeles Times at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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