Google Needs to Open Google Maps To Windows Phone To Keep Promise

by Stephen Fluin 2013.01.05

One of the core tennants touted by Google is the concept of "Don't be evil". It seems to be harder and harder for that concept to represent itself at the institutional level based on a number of recent actions by the company. The most recent action was to block access to the mobile version of Google Maps on Windows Phone.

As evidenced by this YouTube user's investigation, simply changing the user agent is the difference between a functional Google Maps and a nonfunctional one. This is a dramatic example of Google being evil. They are intentionally blocking a competing platform from something that would work otherwise. This is an anti-feature. Anti-features are where developers intentionally spend preventing software from working. This is bad for customers, and bad for humanity.

This even harks back to the days of IE-Only websites. This is such a strange shift in strategy (even if unintentional) because Google was one of the shining voices helping us move past those dark days. With the launch of open source Chrome, one of the best browsers around, users benefited from constantly improving experience, in addition to control of their own environments.