Cotana info

As any Windows Phone user realizes Google has virtually no presence on Windows Phone. If you read most blogs and tech reviews of the Windows Phone platform that bring light to this point, the tone in which that information is presented in might leave you thinking Microsoft is standing guard at the gates of it’s platform announcing to Google’s productivity Suite, Google Hang Outs, You Tube and the like, that they simply are not welcome. I don’t believe this is true. At all.

It is my understanding that Microsoft has made attempts (as well as members of the Windows Phone Community) to reach out to Google to have them offer their services on the Windows Phone platform. If Microsoft had intentionally rebuffed Googles offering of their services on Microsoft’s platforms, or even arrogantly resisted attempting bringing those services to the Window Phone platform then the tone of many articles, bemoaning Googles absence from Windows Phone as the fault of Microsoft,  in my opinion would be justified, “Microsoft is not doing enough to offer diversity on its mobile platform”, is what many of these articles touting the “app gap” sound like.


This however is NOT the case. Microsoft HAS attempted to bring Google services (including YouTube) to Windows Phone, however it is Google who is resisting. The question, though the answer seems apparent is, Why? The answer. Google wants what Microsoft has, a ubiquitous presence in homes and enterprise (where the PC rules). This is why they are pushing Chromebooks so aggressively in school systems and municipalities. They are trying to reach the children (training them on Google services) and businesses (replace the Microsoft Windows and Office infrastructure).

Microsoft’s hold in those areas is quite strong and difficult for Google to break. Where Google does lead however is in the mobile space. Android, which is their delivery method to get their services in the hands of millions of consumers is their primary tool against Microsoft’s stronghold. As consumers adopt mobile android devices and the services inherent therein, phenomenon like Bring Your Own Device, allows Google to begin to infiltrate the enterprise, where Google, again, is trying to set up camp.

Android 2

Google realizes that it has a strong and aggressive mobile front. They also know that Microsoft’s powerful and static install base in enterprise has enough inertia that it is not going anywhere anytime soon. Now Google knows that allowing its services on Windows Phone will indeed make Microsoft’s platform much more appealing to many. What Google fears would then occur is that many users would convert to Microsoft’s platform and though given the option of using Google’s tools on those mobile Windows devices, they would then be presented the opportunity to utilize Microsoft’s services already built into the device.

Windows OnslaughtAdditionally we know that of course a consumer with a Windows Phone, even with Googles services on it, most likely works in a business (statistically speaking) which embraces Microsoft’s tools and services. These users now, Bringing Their Own Device’s to the IT infrastructure of their place of employment would find that their Windows devices with Microsoft services and their personal transition between home and work have a much easier, efficient and seamless transition into their workplace environment than they would if they abruptly switched from one environment to another if they were use an android device and Google services. Windows at home and at work. Isn’t this what the world has looked like for decades?

Google (and iOS) are trying to change that.

Microsoft likes it just fine.


But Google wants the enterprise. Thus they cannot afford to yield any ground to their largest competitor in that arena. They can’t afford to lose any mobile users of their services to Microsoft. These mobile users in the Post-PC world are Googles ticket into the enterprise. Their stubbornly staunch position in not yielding their palette of services, Googles Productivity Suite, Google Hangouts, YouTube and the like, to Microsoft’s Mobile platform, also vying to become the enterprises mobile solution is a testimony of this strategy.

Yes, Google have said that the Windows Phone platform is too small to invest in at this point. Hmmmmm. Maybe that’s another reason for their reluctance to offer their services on Microsoft’s mobile platform. But THE sole reason. I doubt that. Sure Google, as a search giant, that has become something more has seen much of its revenue from ads, and a larger base of Windows Phone users certainly would appeal to them should they become large enough. But I’m sure there would be serious consideration in Googles boardroom weighing the costs of offering Google’s products on a burgeoning and healthy Windows Phone platform against what such a choice would mean for their play on the enterprise.

So bloggers and tech writers, I appreciate, as one who loves reading tech articles, your offering your views. Yet I also encourage you and every tech writer who often presents this position: that there are critical apps such as Google products missing from the Windows Phone platform; with the suggestive tone that Microsoft is not doing anything or enough to bring these apps to the platform, to shift your paradigm.

I challenge you to take the less traveled road. The more difficult position and place the gauntlet at Googles feet. Microsoft has responded to the challenges you have given them in your posts and blogs over the years. They have heard the laments of users and bloggers decrying the various shortcomings of Windows Phone in comparison to iOS and Android. From consumer pleasing features like Cortana and a notifications center, to enterprise features such as mobile security tools, VPN and more Microsoft has checked many boxes and silenced many voices.


But the pattern, it seems, is set. Bloggers have learned the rhythm of these articles about Windows Phone and it is challenging for many to get out of the groove. In an article I wrote back in February of this year,  Why Windows Phone 8.1, Particularly Cortana, Must Be Revolutionary – “A Cautionary Tale  I predicted despite the progress Microsoft brought to Windows Phone via the 8.1 update, there would still be that persistent….BUT. Windows Phone is great But….Google services are absent from the platform. Writers, bloggers I challenge US to take to our tablets, notebooks, Chromebooks, Macboooks, PC’s and Macs and THIS time let’s lay the gauntlet, our words, at Google’s feet: “Windows Phone is great but Google refuses to make their products and services available to the platform.” Let’s see how they respond.

  1. Ransh says:

    I have not seen any articles accusing Microsoft of not letting Google services on to their platform. Not a single one. In fact, Google’s insistence on not supporting the platform is clear to all those who write about Windows Phone.

    Anyone who was writing about smartphones when Microsoft tried to get a decent YouTube app on it’s platform or when Microsoft was forced to change the way Gmail accounts are supported because Google tried to hurt it’s own customers who choose WP is aware of who is at fault.

    It’s clear that Google is more concerned about WP than iOS. WP competes with the low end Android devices, it competes for the same OEMs and any success it has could draw those OEMs away from Android. Apple doesn’t pose such a threat. Apple also doesn’t have a track record of taking over a category and destroying companies who ruled it before (they’ve done it with Windows, Excel, Internet Explorer, Messenger and more)

    It makes sense for Google to worry about Microsoft but they way they’re trying to fight it will just drive users away from Google services

    • JLWord says:

      Thanks for the response. I appreciate your feedback. It’s a shame that many posts/articles carry a tone, though not explicitly stated, that the absence of Google products/services on Windows Phone is a strike on Microsoft and the articles often end with a condemnation of Microsoft’s platform rather than Google’s actions.

  2. Here Here… I second that… Googles stance has actually driven me away from it’s apps and services . My search bar is now Bing, I don’t use Gmail apart from logging into You Tube and on my Android device I now use HERE maps instead of Google.

    It’s stupid childs play by Google and can only lead to bad things for them in the end (Anyone that I know that becomes a Windows Phone fan will not just dislike but actively hate Google).

    I can see the new Windows 10 OS will cause big waves next year and Bing and HERE will take market share away from Google… maybe slowly at first, but it could end in a tidal wave effect.

    Thanks for the article.

    Cheers Adam

  3. Rob says:

    It’s only a matter of time before Google forces users on all desktop platforms to use Chrome to access Google services

  4. Herpy Derpy says:

    Reposting from elsewhere on the intertubes:

    Here’s Google Maps for Windows Mobile, written by Google themselves:

    Google’s original motivation for having Android in the first place was that they were tired of having to port their apps to hundreds of different platforms in order to make their apps available to mobile users, and then maintain these apps. It was very expensive and time consuming, so they founded the Open Handset Alliance to have one platform that any OEM could use. (In fact Android was originally a feature phone OS, which is apparent if you look at the “sneak peak” videos of it from 2006.)

    Once Android took off, Google stopped adding support for any new platforms. They continue to support old platforms that they already wrote their apps for, but they are being consistent in that they haven’t added any more. (Hence no support for Windows Phone, Meego, WebOS, etc, while they still support BlackBerry and iOS.)

    You can still to this day find their apps for some feature phones (I first got gmail and google maps for my old Sprint Sanyo MM-9000) and other smartphones which are still supported by their manufacturers (such as iOS and BlackBerry.)

    Hope that clears things up.

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