Report : Google Maps Never Supported Internet Explorer On Windows Phone 8
Microsoft’s complaint that Google is hoarding its YouTube metadata has fueled a new conspiracy theory: The search giant has pulled levers to prevent Windows Phones from accessing Google Maps. In reality, this phenomenon likely has little if anything to do with chicanery on Google’s part and everything to do with Microsoft’s reluctance to support the WebKit browser framework.
While Google Maps was never officially built for or supported by the Windows Phone platform, prior to this complaint, the service was accessible to a certain degree. Users of Windows Phone 7 and 8 both seem to be facing this issue.
Google released an explanation for the issue, saying that Google Maps rely on WebKit on mobile devices and Internet Explorer for Windows Phone does not utilise the rendering engine.
Microsoft, over the past few months, has publicly sparred with Google over its shutting down of Exchange Activesync support at the end of January. Microsoft expressed “disappointment” in the action and implored any affected users to transition to Outlook.com, its new (and excellent) mail offering. By turning off Activesync access (which applies to all platforms, not just Microsoft’s), Windows Phone users will not be able to sync Google contacts or calendars. Because Microsoft has yet to implement CalDAV and CardDAV support in its mobile OS, users will be out of luck by the end of the month.
Apple, on the other hand, will be unaffected by the change as it implemented the new calendar and contact sync standards in its latest version and has push support for mail via a native app. Android users, of course, will suffer no such issues with sync as their phones tie directly into Google’s activation servers.
While it’s currently assumed that the redirect is a bug and not the status quo going forward, we’ve yet to hear from Google on the issue.