Relations between Microsoft and Google haven’t exactly been amicable. In fact, in recent times, they have soured all the more due to somewhat of a feud between Bing and Google search as well as several other issues. Now, it has turned out that Google Maps can’t be accessed on Windows Phone devices because their default browser doesn’t use WebKit.
WebKit is a rendering engine which is open-source and is primarily maintained by Apple. A large number of browsers make use of this rendering engine and Google Chrome is included in that list. However, Internet Explorer does not support WebKit and that’s why when you try to access Google Maps from Internet Explorer in your Windows Phone, you are unable to do so.
Users who have tried to do so have reported that they are rather redirected to Google’s home page. And this isn’t going to change any time soon.
Google has repeatedly cited that it has directed its mobile apps and development efforts at such platforms which are making use of the WebKit rendering engine. Whereas the decision may also be a result of some bias towards Microsoft, it seems more of a sane strategical move.
Windows Phone still doesn’t command a sizeable audience and so, it is natural that Google wishes to focus its efforts on the likes of iOS and Android platforms, both of which have a huge user base and also make use of WebKit rendering engines through their default browsers.
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