Fighting in the sandbox: Microsoft and Google’s YouTube spat

The current spat between Microsoft and Google over the Windows Phone YouTube app illustrates the value, and hindrance, of the internet’s walled gardens.

Google’s locking Microsoft Phone users out of YouTube shows the strength of these online empires and when coupled with control of the mobile phone platforms, as Google has with Android, it makes it hard for outsiders to compete.

In one respect, this is corporate karma coming back to bite Microsoft, which ruthlessly exploited its market position with Windows, MS-DOS and Office through the 1990s and early 2000s.

That doesn’t change the problems facing Microsoft Windows Phone users who want the same access to internet services enjoyed by Android and iPhone owners.

Being locked out of a service because of the product you choose to use is in many ways the antithesis of the internet and challenges the underpinnings of the online economy.

All internet and mobile phone users need to watch how this spat between Microsoft and Google develops, captive markets aren’t good for anyone.

In the meantime though for businesses, it’s important to carefully choose which platforms and walled gardens that you want to concentrate on as you don’t want to be stranded should your choice turn out to be the wrong one.

This is just as true with social media and cloud computing services as it is with mobile phone platforms. Remember that the interests of Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook are not necessarily yours.

Paul Wallbank‘s latest book, eBu$iness, Seven Steps to Online Success, shows how business can get online quickly and cost effectively using web 2.0, cloud computing, social media and e-commerce tools.


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