I have not written in a while, but thanks to IFTTT my Instagram photos have been keeping this site full of fun and exciting pictures. Okay, maybe they are not fun or exciting! Then I see something that makes me angry, so here I am.
This week Facebook is cutting off access to a very old version of their Graph API. An API that has been updated over and over again. At an event well over a year ago Facebook announced that they would be cutting off access to this old version, and that anyone who uses it should update their app or service to use the new version. So this week Microsoft posts that because of this change many Microsoft services that were connected to Facebook using this ancient version of an API were no longer going to work. Then comes the crazy and stupid headlines. Some said that Facebook was f**king Microsoft, and many others made it sound like Facebook was going after Microsoft users specifically. This was factually incorrect, but that does not matter.
This reminds me of the Google cutting off Exchange Active Sync story from a couple of years ago. If you just listened to and read many that covered or followed Microsoft you would think that Google was targeting the twelve Windows Phone users (I was one of them at the time). The truth is that this was a move by Google that impacted a lot more iPhone users who used EAS to connect their Gmail accounts. Google was trying to force their free users to use the Gmail app in order to have push e-mail. If you still wanted EAS access, they said pay up for a Google Apps account. You can disagree with what Google did to their users, but this was not a shot at Microsoft or Windows users. They were doing what every company is doing, trying to get their users to use the official app.
Then there was the YouTube app debacle. Google once again did not make an app for Windows Phone users, so Microsoft at the time decides to build their own app. There are ways to make a third party YouTube app that works, but that is not what Microsoft did. They built an app that broke every rule Google had set for app developers in order to get the reaction they did from Google. Microsoft even had an option to download videos in the app! This was going on at the same time that Microsoft was running an online and TV ad campaign called “Scroogled”. Somehow people wanted you to believe that Google was the one targeting Microsoft here. The truth is that Microsoft was poking Google over and over again trying to get Google to react so Microsoft can spin it and use public pressure to get an official app. Well that did not work.
The good news is that the new regime at Microsoft stopped the “Scroogled” campaign, and seems to have moved pass this mentality. Microsoft is going back to what they do best, making software. This software is now running well on every platform their customers run. From iOS to Android to Windows, you can use Microsoft’s software and services and Microsoft says thank you. It is time for Microsoft users and the press that covers them to realize the reality they now live in. Facebook and Google are not going out their way to target Windows Phone users. Apple and Google are in the middle of a holy war over privacy, but Google is still creating new apps for iOS. They are doing what they need to do to run their own business. The same way Microsoft is now doing what they have to do.