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Google Backs Down On Maps Redirect 240

Dupple writes "A few days ago Google blocked access to its maps on Windows Phone 8, claiming that it 'worked best' on WebKit-based browsers — effectively excluding WP8 users. This, despite Google Maps working fine on desktop versions of IE that use the same rendering engine and users being able to spoof the user agent string on their WP8 devices to gain access. Now it appears that Google has backed down and is now allowing WP8 users access."
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Google Backs Down On Maps Redirect

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  • Re:Perfect Example (Score:5, Informative)

    by moronoxyd ( 1000371 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:35PM (#42496543)

    This is a perfect example of why no company should have monopolistic power.

    Yeah. Except... there is that little think called Bing Maps, which does more or less what Google Maps does and is even owned by the company who's mobile browser couldn't access Google Maps.
    So, no monopoly here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:40PM (#42496605)

    It's because someone else can use google's APIs and bypass google adverts to server their own. Why do you think Apple preferred to release a broken maps application rather than continue to use google's? Because they wanted that ad revenue for themselves, and don't care about their customers. Google did not block browser access, win-phone could still using the service with their browsers, what they couldn't have was alternative win-fied applications.

  • by Andy Prough ( 2730467 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:50PM (#42496687)
    to where its money is coming from: []. Way more money per iPhone user than Android user.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @01:56PM (#42496739)

    The mobile version of google maps uses touch events not supported by IE10 mobile, it has nothing to do with the rendering engine!
    So they will get google maps but not with the best experience.

  • Re:Don't be evil (Score:4, Informative)

    by allo ( 1728082 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @02:37PM (#42497049)

    use kwin and try to change the level of focus stealing prevention (maybe only with a per window rule)

  • Re:Don't be evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @02:54PM (#42497185)

    If they believed it wouldn't render well, then they're right to block access.

    Except why would they believe that it didn't render well unless, you know, it actually didn't render well?

    People seem to confuse this practice with something similar practiced by some websites in ancient times before Firefox became popular, when anything but Internet Explorer was blocked.

    It looks to me like people are correctly equating the practice with a Microsoft service requiring that the user agent be Internet Explorer even when it works fine on different browsers.

    It also looks to me like you are working hard trying to convolute the issue in order to make it seem like Google didn't just do what it did.

  • Re:Perfect Example (Score:4, Informative)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @02:54PM (#42497189) Homepage Journal

    You're forgetting that "vendor lockin" thing with the OEM's. "If you want to sell Windows, then you can ONLY sell Windows OS's." Remember that? BECAUSE of that little bit of arm twisting, then no OEM could afford to be locked out of Windows, so they ALL agreed to those terms.

    That was a very effective monopoly. Worldwide, Microsoft has owned more than 90% of all desktops for how long now? Definitely a monopoly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @03:49PM (#42497577)

    I don't know why people perpetuate this myth, there's actually nothing particularly good about NavTeq mapping data, I've found it to be quite bad, and much slower to update that Google maps.

    As for local agents, well, with Google's ground truth project they've been getting more accurate depictions of more countries than absolutely anyone for a little while now. They've been mapping places NavTeq had never even been.

    Further to this, Google is way ahead of Nokia in terms of gathering data from their street view project in terms of interpreting road signs and applying them to their maps (one way systems etc.) which means the divide is likely only going to get bigger.

    I guess perhaps it probably depends someone on your country, but certainly here in the UK, NavTeq is one of the weakest players. Garmin satnav always used their maps and Garmin kit was always inferior to TomTom. TomTom did even try using NavTeq for a short period but dropped them for precisely the reason that they were shit in comparison to their main provider - TeleAtlas.

    Honestly, the myth of NavTeq's supposed superiority seems to be brewed from little more than a hate for Google and/or those desperate to suggest Nokia still has a future rather than being based on any real actual kind of reality, because in reality, NavTeq has given Nokia a start for their mapping application, but certainly never gave them anything that puts them ahead of Google maps, and certainly does nothing to change the fact that Nokia just isn't position to even catch up with Google given Google's massively superior capabilities in data processing and vastly larger user contribution in improving their maps product.

    It's also a little dishonest to suggest NavTeq collecting data before Google came into existence has any relevance to the discussion too, it's not like Google didn't buy mapping data from mapping companies that stem back even farther still to get itself started - companies that unsuprisingly again were mostly the likes of TeleAtlas rather than NavTeq, precisely because NavTeq was the worst in the pool of options when Google were getting started with mapping, and remain so to this day.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 06, 2013 @04:48PM (#42498077)

    You Google apologizers are worse than the Apple apologists.

  • Re:Perfect Example (Score:5, Informative)

    by ThatsMyNick ( 2004126 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:02PM (#42498183)

    In the last 12 weeks, of the number of smartphones sold, 53% were Apple, 41.9% were Android, and 2.7% were Microsoft. This only accounts for the last 12 weeks. I have heard of some consolation prizes being unworthy of their title, but this one takes the cake. And the title totally misleading.

  • Re:Don't be evil (Score:2, Informative)

    by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @05:05PM (#42498213)

    Wait... they claimed that excluding people from using a service by using proprietry APIs was evil.
    Now they claim that excluding people from using a service by using a redirect just because you bought someone else's phone is evil.

    I don't see what's hypocritical here... If you exclude people from using a service for shitty reasons, it's evil, simple.

  • Re:Don't be evil (Score:4, Informative)

    by gsnedders ( 928327 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @07:52PM (#42499285) Homepage

    They haven't. There's just not the interest in browser vendors to go there.

  • Re:Don't be evil (Score:5, Informative)

    by cockroach2 ( 117475 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @08:57PM (#42499657)

    They also denied access to my Nokia N9 - definitely not a Windows phone.

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Sunday January 06, 2013 @10:02PM (#42500047)

    Remember Microsoft telling the world they had no obligation to support a competitor's product?

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."