Google pulls a 180 on the decision to block Google Maps on Windows Phone, but we are starting to notice a trend.
Google has a somewhat complicated business model. Countless books have attempted to describe how the search giant makes money, and what drives them to live by the motto “do no evil.” Their motives aren’t easy to compress down into a few words, but if we had to try, it would be simply to say that they want you to use the Internet as much as possible. With this in mind, Google’s decision to block Windows Phone users from their map service made absolutely no sense. Windows Phone isn’t a competitive threat to Google, at least not yet, but between this move, and the company’s decision to cripple contact and calendar management for Gmail users, we can’t help but wonder what’s going on.
Google has announced today that it is reversing the decision on the mapping issue, but that wasn’t until just about every news outlet called foul on the companies explanation of why it happened at all. The central issue, at least for Google, seems to be Microsoft’s continued use of a proprietary web rendering engine called Trident as opposed to WebKit. Microsoft has made significant strides towards supporting web standards, but apparently broken pan and zoom functionality on Google Maps convinced the company to pull the plug rather than put in the engineering effort to fix it.
So life goes on and Windows Phone users can access the semi crippled Google Maps once again, but the trend here is pretty clear. If you intend to stay in the Windows Phone ecosystem, you might want to start looking long and hard at what Google services you can replace with Microsoft offerings. One day in the not so distance future, you might not have a choice.